Embracing The Unknowns Of The Emergency Department

SnyderBrett Snyder, Pharm.D.'21 (Candidate)

In the beginning of the pandemic, I was leery of partaking in an emergency medicine rotation. At that point, I was comfortable with the confines of my home and especially thankful for the heroics of other healthcare professionals. Eventually, the growing uncertainty of APPEs made me value the opportunity for an in-person rotation.

I met my preceptor, Greg Hauler, for orientation at Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital. I appreciated his systematic way of explaining the goals of our acute care rotation. He was not flustered by the demanding work of the emergency department (ED); he was simply collected and professional. In our first interaction, Greg proved himself to be an active listener, a key quality in pharmacy and as a preceptor. I quickly realized that Greg had high expectations. But, my first impressions of him made me feel eager to take on the challenges of this growth period.

From the onset of the rotation, Greg was mindful of my career aspirations. Accordingly, he tailored the rotation to give me experience making interprofessional recommendations and observing procedures in the ED. My preceptor went out of his way to get me access to stroke evaluations, procedural sedations, and clinical meetings. My immediate involvement helped me feel welcome and made a career in hospital pharmacy seem more attainable.

I learned early on that Greg was not going to hand me the answers. Every evening, I brought home follow-up questions to address. Sometimes my answers would come up short, but he understood that being correct every time was not expected. Greg's intentions were good-hearted, as he was molding me into a lifelong learner. Moreover, Greg demonstrated that the best and most credible pharmacists stay current with literature and clinical guidelines.

After all of my physician and patient encounters, Greg consistently provided me with feedback. He applied this concept to our weekly evaluations, referred to as "Feedback Fridays." At the end of each week we would both list improvements for ourselves and the rotation as a whole. Being optimistic, Greg also asked that I mention tasks that he and I did well. Our "Feedback Fridays" were always positive, and it was great for me to highlight my areas of interest within the rotation.

Ultimately, my hesitation associated with my first APPE rotation was unwarranted due in large part to my congenial relationship with my preceptor. In my four weeks, I observed that Greg is both a well-respected ED pharmacist and a great person. When we were in transition between departments, I enjoyed talking about hobbies we have in common, such as fishing and watching baseball. Most importantly, he taught me that a reliable ED pharmacist is always planning ahead. Altogether, I appreciate that this rotation gave me a friend, mentor, and advocate in the field of pharmacy.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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