I am a P3 pharmacy student and it is the end of April.
That means I’m in my last academic semester and it is very important that I keep track of all of my “lasts.”
I turned in my last cluster exam last week–therapeutics–in the late afternoon on Wednesday. It was one of those exams where there were a lot of topics and none of them were very difficult. I answered each question with this sense of “Yeah! I know this!” Or maybe it was “I didn’t study this topic enough to know I don’t know this so, sure! This is the answer!”
(It went fine by the way.)
So as I hand in my 18th and final cluster scantron, the proctor tells me I have to fully mark in the test form (you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever taken a scantron–and if not, it’s as basic as writing your name).
All I could think was: “MAN, THIS AIN’T MY FIRST RODEO.”
But I did as I was told and fixed my bubble-mark. But geez! I should be a scantron pro at this point!
Rewind to last Thursday. I was in the home stretch of cluster exams and I was absolutely ready to
curl up in a ball and cry finish strong with my therapeutics exam.
I got home from my philosophy class around 8PM, made dinner, looked over notes for meningitis and blood/heart infections for two hours and then at 10:30 went: YOU KNOW WHAT?
And went to bed.
I then woke up at 3:30 AM and continued studying because my exam was at 8:00 AM on campus.
That was … really weird. People on my Facebook on the west coast were still up from the day before doing normal people stuff like watching Netflix and playing on the Internet and I was up at an ungodly hour cramming my brain with empiric regimens for late-onset hospital acquired pneumonia.
Then at 9:00 AM when I was done, it felt like 2PM and it was SO ODD. But I got McDonald’s breakfast and went back to bed so everything was okay. All I can say is: NEVER AGAIN. You hear that, finals?
I bet you’ve never seen THOSE two things together before!
Every week at the beginning of case conference, we have a 10 point quiz on the case topic.
Last semester, I studied like a champ for all of these quizzes. I averaged averagely on them. It was a little frustrating. This semester has been different. I have had weeks where I put the pedal to the metal and study, then some weeks I go “Well, quiz, yours will be the lowest score dropped at the end of the semester.” Those quizzes are the ones I have done the best on.
It’s some sort of strange long-term memory phenomenon. For some reason I recognize/guess correct answers better when I haven’t crammed for the quiz right before. Something weird is going on with that.
Right now, therapeutics 2 is diving heavily into cardiovascular problems. As mentioned before, I find these boring.
This week we’re doing atrial fibrillation. “What’s that?” you ask. WELL. LET ME TELL YOU.
It’s when your heart cells decide that going with the flow and contracting in unison is so passe. They want to do something different. They want to do something the heart cells have probably never heard of. They want to be Hipster Ariel.
So these hipster cells, as I call them, decide to beat and contract whenever they see fit. This causes your heart to contract in different places and different times–what scientists call “willy nilly.”
It’s kind of cool and dangerous and exotic and trendy. But it’s also really confusing to treat. One therapy is to just shock the patient. That’s right. Dr. McSteamy shouts CLEAR and throws shocky pads on you. It’s a little more laid back than that, I guess. But the best part is that if it doesn’t work, you can “do it as many times as the patient will let you.” Awesome.
Sooo that is for the quiz tomorrow. I’d like to pretend that I can blow it off and get a 100% like a did last week, but I don’t think “shock the patient as many times as they let you” will be a viable option for every quiz question.
Back to the grind.
Last week, if you saw anyone from the P2 class, you were probably wondering why we were all wearing bandaids on our fingers.
The answer? The Diabetes Patient Assignment!!
For 5 days, we all had to live the life of a diabetic. We checked our blood sugar 4 times a day (ow), maintained a strict regimen of diet and exercise, and we also blogged about it (so much blogging!). Anyway I made a video about my adventures in diabetes. I spent two hours editing it. I should be ashamed to say that, but I did.
So what does it all mean?
Yesterday at work (yes, work–more on this later), a customer approached asking about blood glucose meters. I jumped on it. I told him that I had just done an assignment where I had to use blood glucose meters, and that it really wasn’t that bad. He was really concerned that it was going to hurt and that he would have to deal with needles all the time, but I assured him that I’m just as much of a wuss about those things and I thought it was totally fine!
Luckily the customer was very intent on monitoring his blood glucose in order to solve his metabolism problems, so he bought the meter and seemed really happy that I had some insight for him. Yaaaay applicable school assignments!
Sooo, right now, AS WE SPEAK, I am writing up a case for my Therapeutics class. Let’s talk about how that works.
In Therapeutics case conference, you show up with your little case book and sit down with a group of your peers. There are two conference leaders (who are PharmD’s or greater!) who help guide you through the case of the week. Then, your group works through all of the options for treating the case taking into account lots and lots of considerations.
This is the type of pharmacy stuff that I really like! You look at a fake patient and his/her fake drug problems, then you look at his/her disease state and figure out what needs to be changed or added to the drug therapy. It’s kind of a long process at this point, but I like having to look at a lot of different angles to things, and checking drug databases helps.
Anyway, there’s a big chart that we have to fill out and turn in the following week for a grade that outlines our care plan for the patient. It can be tricky being sure to include every single detail, but it gets easier once you do a few of them!
So, did I mention that ALL OF OUR EXAMS are Monday-Wednesday? When we found out, we looked like this:
Thanks, CuteOverload. You always know just how I feel!