Learning Experience Descriptions

Ambulatory Care

Ambulatory Care is a required, longitudinal rotation.  During this experience, residents will rotate through four clinics, spending at least 8 weeks in each clinic.  The experience requires clinic attendance by the resident, regardless of concurrent rotation responsibilities, one morning or afternoon per week (dependent on the current clinic) from approximately August through June.  Additional rotation requirements, such as patient teaching and camp attendance, may require resident participation outside the weekly clinic setting.

The focus of this rotation is the provision of pharmaceutical care to pediatric patients receiving chronic outpatient care at the Children’s of Alabama Ambulatory Care Center.  Patient care in the clinic setting is a multidisciplinary approach.  The clinical pharmacy specialist on the clinic team is responsible for identification and resolution of medication related problems, ensuring safe and effective medication use by outpatients, collaboration with decentralized and community pharmacists to assure timely and cost-effective medication availability; education of patients and their family members and of other team members; serving as a source of drug information to the team; and participation in medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues for patients and will work toward assuming care of all patients in the clinic throughout the learning experience.  Patients residents will care for on this rotation include those with HIV/AIDS, leukemia, and cystic fibrosis, and pre-and post-renal transplant patients. Patients range in age from infants to young adults.  Good communication and interpersonal skills are vital to success in this experience.  The resident must devise efficient strategies for accomplishing the required activities in a limited time frame and for successfully interviewing and educating pediatric patients and their families.

Anticoagulation

Anticoagulation is a required, longitudinal rotation.  During this rotation, the pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues related to anticoagulation therapy for patients covered under the on-call component of the residency program.  The resident will work toward assuming care of all covered patients receiving anticoagulation therapy throughout the learning experience.  The resident will provide and document therapeutic drug monitoring and counseling services for covered patients requiring monitoring including, but not limited to, unfractionated heparin (UFH), enoxaparin, and warfarin.  The resident is responsible for providing and documenting education to patients who will be discharged receiving anticoagulation.  Education and documentation must be provided no later than the day of discharge. Good communication and interpersonal skills are vital to success in this experience.  The resident must devise efficient strategies for accomplishing the required activities in a limited time frame. 

Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT)

The BMT Unit rotation is an elective rotation for pharmacy residents. The rotation will be a minimum of two weeks, but may be longer depending on resident interest and/or preceptor availability. The focus of this rotation is the provision of complete pharmaceutical care services to the BMT patient population. The BMT unit is an eight bed inpatient unit and a four bed outpatient clinic. The patients include mostly hematology/oncology patients and patients with various immunodeficiencies.

The clinical pharmacy specialist on the team is responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for all patients admitted to the team, including active participation in outpatient clinic and attending rounds daily; collaboration with decentralized pharmacists to assure timely medication availability; education of patients and their family members, education of physicians and nurses, and education of pharmacy trainees; participation in the pharmacy department pharmacokinetics on-call program; and, participation on organizational, pharmacy department and nursing unit-based medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues for patients and will work toward assuming care of all patients on the unit throughout the learning experience.  The resident will provide and document therapeutic drug monitoring services for patients on their team receiving drugs requiring monitoring including, but not limited to, aminoglycosides and vancomycin.  Documentation must be completed on the day service was provided. The resident will also be responsible for educating patients and their families on medications prior to hospital discharge and in the outpatient clinic. In addition, the resident will maintain current medication administration schedules for all outpatients and provided the patient/family with an updated copy with any medication or dosage change in clinic.

Cardiovascular Intensive Care (CVICU) 

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) is an elective, specialized critical care rotation.  The rotation will be a minimum of two weeks, but may be longer depending on resident interest and/or preceptor availability. There are currently 16 available beds in the CVICU with 2 rounding teams.  Each rounding team includes the attending physician and nurse practitioner with other disciplines such as clinical pharmacists, respiratory therapists, clinical dieticians and the primary nurse joining as able. The focus of this rotation is to gain an understanding of the pharmaceutical care services provided to the CVICU patient population.

The clinical pharmacy specialist on the team is responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for all patients admitted to the team, including order verification, active participation in daily roundsy and serving as a source of drug information to the team; collaboration with decentralized pharmacists to assure timely medication availability; education of patients and their family members and education of physicians, nurses and other team members; participation in unit codes/traumas; and participation on organizational, pharmacy department and nursing unit-based medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues for patients and will work toward assuming care of all patients on one CVICU team in the unit throughout the learning experience.  The resident will provide and document therapeutic drug monitoring services for patients on their team receiving drugs requiring monitoring including, but not limited to aminoglycosides, vancomycin and anticoagulants. The resident will act as a drug information resource for other team members and as necessary provide discharge teaching for patients and their families with proper documentation in the electronic medical record.  In addition, the resident will assist in order verification and provide code/trauma response during the time that they are based on the unit. Good communication and interpersonal skills are vital to success in this experience.  The resident must devise efficient strategies for accomplishing the required activities in a limited time frame. 

Clinical Informatics

Clinical Informatics is an elective, two to four week learning experience at Children’s of Alabama. The informatics rotation will help residents become familiar the key principles utilized in hospitals and health systems to improve pharmacy informatics, automation, and health information technology. The rotation is designed to expose residents to informatics nomenclature, key principles, tools, and available resources. Residents will participate in several activities designed to improve their working knowledge and experience with informatics concepts. The rotation will enable the resident to apply informatics knowledge in other pharmacy practice settings to improve technology and optimize patient care.

Drug Information

The drug information rotation is a longitudinal rotation for pharmacy residents.  The focus of this rotation is the provision of drug information to the hospital’s pharmacy, nursing, and medical staff.  Some examples of the types of drug information provided include inservices, articles for the pharmacy newsletter, responses to specific drug information questions, and medication utilization evaluations.  Residents will be required to provide the following services (assignments may change based resident’s needs):

  • Write 2 drug information articles for the pharmacy newsletter
  • Respond to any drug information questions assigned during the year, providing formal written responses to at least two drug information requests.
  • Complete one medication utilization evaluation
  • Complete 2 drug class reviews or drug monographs (either 2 of one or one of each)
  • Complete 2 learning modules for the pharmacy department
  • Provide 1 CE to be presented twice at Children's of Alabama and once at the University of Alabama Hospital.

Emergency Department

Pediatric Emergency Department (ED) is an elective, two to four week learning experience at Children’s of Alabama.  The Pediatric Emergency Medicine Department provides a statewide and regional referral site for complex emergency problems and acute tertiary care for the state's major pediatric trauma and medical center at the Children's Hospital Emergency Department. The division provides 24 hour on-site coverage, and faculty members are specialized in pre-and in-hospital emergency care and resuscitation and trauma services. Special services include: Critical Care Transport, Poison Control and Injury Prevention, and Concussion Clinic.

Medication orders from the ED are processed through main pharmacy, and no clinical pharmacist is assigned to this area.  A pharmacist and pharmacy technician trained in code/trauma response responds to all level-one codes and traumas in the ED.  During day shift on weekdays, the responding pharmacist is one of the critical care pharmacists.  On other shifts, an inpatient pharmacist responds.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues through review of new medication orders.  In addition, the resident will act as a drug information resource for other health care providers in the ED and provide code/trauma response during the time that they are based on the unit.  The resident will serve as liason between the ED and central pharmacy, as well as between the ED and the floor should patients be admitted, to assist in the medication reconciliation process.

Good communication and interpersonal skills are vital to success in this experience.  The resident must devise efficient strategies for accomplishing the required activities in a limited time frame.  Since no pharmacist works daily in this area, a non-pharmacist preceptor is utilized.  Therefore, to participate in this elective the resident must be at a point in their training where they are capable of independent practice, as determined by the Residency Program Director (RPD) in coordination with the Residency Advisory Committee (RAC).

General Pediatrics

General Pediatrics on the General Inpatient Pediatrics Service (GIPS) is a required, four week learning experience at Children’s of Alabama. Throughout the year, there are multiple interdisciplinary teaching teams that care for a variety of general medicine patients. Each of the teaching teams includes an attending physician, PGY2 or PGY3 medical resident(s), PGY1 medical intern(s), and medical students (MSIII or MSIV). Other disciplines on the team include a clinical pharmacist, pharmacy students, a nurse case manager, a social worker, a clinical dietitian, and the primary nurse.

The clinical pharmacist on the team is responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for all patients admitted to the team, including active participation in daily medical rounds; education of patients and their family members, education of physicians and nurses, and education of pharmacy trainees; participation in the pharmacy department on-call program; and participation in organizational, pharmacy department, and nursing unit-based medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for providing pharmaceutical care to all patients on their assigned team. This includes identifying and resolving medication therapy issues, assisting with transitions of care, providing patient education, and documenting therapeutic drug monitoring services. Additionally, the resident is required to participate in any pertinent co-precepting responsibilities with pharmacy students on the GIPS rotation and to participate in the P3 Pediatric Pharmacy elective course offered by the Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy as the rotation allows.

Hematology/Oncology

Pediatric hematology-oncology (heme-onc) is a required, 4-week rotation.  The core activities of the rotation occur on the inpatient unit and the heme-onc pharmacy satellite.  The resident will migrate in a scheduled fashion among 3 major practice areas throughout the rotation to enable achievement of rotation goals and objectives.

  1. Heme-onc pharmacy satellite : The majority of chemotherapy production for Children’s of Alabama occurs in this location.  The preceptors oversee all aspects of processing, preparation and dispensing of these agents to cancer and non-cancer patients.  Major elements of this rotation component include application of best practice in handling hazardous medications, processing oncology orders, and procuring oncology investigational drugs.
  2. Inpatient chemotherapy service: This service represents 1 of 2 different inpatient heme-onc services.  It is managed by 1 attending physician and 1 nurse practitioner.  During this rotation component, the resident will have the opportunity to gain knowledge of pediatric cancers and chemotherapy treatment and develop and apply a therapeutic monitoring plan.  Another major element of this service is responding to drug information questions.
  3. Inpatient medical hematology-oncology service: This service is comprised of a full multi-disciplinary team present for rounds and represents the largest component of the rotation.  In addition to a pharmacist, the team includes 1 attending physician, 1 fellow physician, 2 medical residents, 2 nurse practitioners, 1 nurse educator, and various nursing and medical students.  Nutritionists and social workers are often present as well.  During this rotation component, the resident will have the opportunity to gain knowledge on complications of cancer treatment and sickle cell anemia.  In addition to developing and apply a monitoring plan, the resident will provide and document therapeutic drug and anticoagulation monitoring services.  Other components of this rotation consist of fielding drug information questions; preparing either a journal club presentation or a written drug information response; and helping troubleshoot discharge prescription problems.

Infectious Diseases

Infectious disease (ID) is a required, 4 week rotation.  The ID team provides care to both inpatients and outpatients at COA. The service provides care to pediatric patients at COA and University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital who have acute and chronic pediatric infectious diseases.   The patient’s seen on service ranges in age from newborns (including those with extreme prematurity) to young adults.  Severity of illness ranges from critically ill to those receiving follow-up in an outpatient setting.  The resident will rotate through all aspects of the 2 major practice areas to enable achievement of all rotation goals and objectives.

  1. The ID consult team consists of one attending physician, an ID fellow-in-training physician, a PGY2 or PGY3 medical resident, and potentially medical students (MSIII or MSIV).  Other disciplines on the team include the clinical pharmacy specialist and pharmacy students. This team is responsible for daily assessment of patients on various primary services at COA and UAB that request consultative services from ID.  Service census will range from 3-15 patients per day, and are located all over the hospital and occasionally at UAB medical center.  During this rotation component, the resident will have the opportunity to gain knowledge on basic pediatric ID disease states, including but not limited to meningitis, osteomyelitis, congenital infections, fungal infections and endocarditis.  In addition to developing, assessing and applying monitoring plans, the resident will provide and document therapeutic drug monitoring services for patients on their team including, but not limited to, aminoglycosides, vancomycin, antimycobacterial therapies, and antifungals..  Other components of rotation consist of fielding drug information questions, helping troubleshoot and plan discharge prescriptions, and presenting a pharmacotherapy topic inservice to the team.  The pharmacy resident should be able to provide assessment and discharge management of patients that will be followed by the outpatient service. The resident is responsible for providing and documenting medication reconciliation for each patient seen either prior or day of discharge, or day they are seen in followup ID clinic.
  2. The ID outpatient service consists of the same practitioners that are on the consult team but also includes an outpatient nurse clinician.  Major components of this rotation consists of assessing weekly lab results that are faxed to the ID offices each week for outpatients, coordinating laboratory needs for scheduled clinic patients with the nurse clinician, performing medication reconciliation and documenting in EMR, coordinating with home health medication changes or needs, and providing education to patients and caregivers regarding medications.  Competency in management of tuberculosis patients, assessment of medication compliance and OPAT are the core topics for the outpatient rotation.

As a whole, the clinical pharmacy specialist on all of these teams is responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for all patients followed by the team, including active participation in work and attending rounds when available; collaboration with decentralized pharmacists to assure timely medication availability; education of patients and their family members, education of physicians and nurses, and education of pharmacy trainees; participation in the pharmacy department on-call program; and, participation on organizational, pharmacy department and nursing unit-based medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

 The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues for patients and will work toward assuming care of all patients on the service throughout the learning experience.  Any documentation for patient interventions or recommendations must be completed on the day service was provided. Good communication and interpersonal skills are vital to success in this experience.  The resident must devise efficient strategies for accomplishing the required activities in a limited time frame. The resident is responsible for researching non-formulary drug requests within the ID services, to assure that the medication is warranted and currently available within the institution. In addition to evaluated objectives, the resident is expected to work within a multi-disciplinary team to:

  • Identify medication related problems and follow up on detected drug therapy problems by alteration in therapy, initiation of new therapy, health education, referral to other sources of care, or other appropriate measures. 
  • Recommend solutions to identified problems
  • Recommend and provide therapeutic drug monitoring and medication adjustment utilizing subjective and objective data
  • Explain epidemiology, risk factors, clinical course and treatment of diseases identified above.
  • Explain mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, and therapeutics of anti-infectives used to treat most common infections

Investigational Drug Study

The Investigational Drug Study rotation is an elective rotation for pharmacy residents. The rotation will be a minimum of two weeks, but may be longer depending on resident interest and/or preceptor availability. The investigational study pharmacy works with multiple disciplines to provide evidence-based, patient-centered investigational medication therapy management.  The pharmacist is responsible for ensuring proper medication storage, documentation, preparation and dispensation for all medications administered to patients enrolled in a hospital approved medication study.  The focus of this rotation is to help the resident understand the importance and relevance of study medication research in pediatrics.  The investigational study pharmacy will provide hands-on dispensing of study medications while instructing on the hospital, state, federal and institutional statues governing research. Throughout the rotation, the obligations of the research pharmacy and significance of each task assigned will be emphasized.   Self-motivation and interpersonal skills are essential to this experience. 

Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)

The neonatal intensive care (NICU) rotation is a 4-week learning experience for pharmacy residents at Children’s of Alabama. There are 48 NICU beds, housed on 1 floor. The NICU is considered a level 4 NICU, which has the ability to perform ECMO, dialysis, all forms of advanced life support, all forms of advanced respiratory support, and houses all neonatal surgical sub-specialties. There are 2 teams (Harbert and Quarterback) comprised of: an attending physician, fellows, neonatal nurse practitioners, social workers, discharge planners, neonatal nutritionist, and clinical pharmacist. On occasion there will be a 4th year pharmacy student(s) from either Samford University or Auburn University, the primary nurse, and respiratory therapy.

The clinical pharmacy specialist on the team is responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for all patients admitted to the team, including active participation in work and attending rounds daily; collaboration with centralized pharmacists to assure timely medication availability; education of physicians and nurses and education of pharmacy trainees; participation in the pharmacy code and trauma call; and, participation on organizational, pharmacy department and nursing unit-based medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

Residents will be required to provide the following activities:

  • Daily patient profile review with identification and resolution of patient medication problems
  • Daily rounding with the neonatal intensive care team
  • Pharmacokinetic assessment/recommendations and documentation of activities and interventions in Sentri 7
  • Provision of drug information to health care professionals
  • Coordination of medication ordering, administration and distribution, working in conjunction with the inpatient pharmacy. This includes ensuring accuracy of nursing medication administration records to that of pharmacy medication profiles and daily updates as to changes in continuous infusions, TPNs, etc.
  • Attendance at all medical emergencies while onsite ("resident physicians" and level 1 traumas)
  • To participate in the education and the precepting of 4th year pharmacy students (when on rotation)
  • Clarification and verification of NICU orders

Nephrology

The renal rotation is an elective rotation for pharmacy residents. The rotation will be a minimum of two weeks, but may be longer depending on resident interest and/or preceptor availability. The focus of this rotation is the provision of complete pharmaceutical care services to the nephrology patient population. The patients include inpatients on the nephrology service and patients in the outpatient dialysis unit with various renal disorders.

The clinical pharmacy specialist on the team is responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for all patients admitted to the team and those in the dialysis unit, including active participation in work and attending rounds daily; collaboration with decentralized pharmacists to assure timely medication availability; education of patients and their family members, education of physicians and nurses, and education of pharmacy trainees; participation in the pharmacy department pharmacokinetics on-call program; and, participation on organizational, pharmacy department and nursing unit-based medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues for patients and will work toward assuming care of all patients on the service and in the dialysis unit throughout the learning experience. The resident will provide and document therapeutic drug monitoring services for patients on their team receiving drugs requiring monitoring and renal dose adjustments, including, but not limited to, aminoglycosides and vancomycin. Documentation must be completed on the day service was provided. The resident will also be responsible for educating patients and their families on medications prior to hospital discharge and in the dialysis unit.

Additional observation and learning opportunities incorporated into this rotation may include, but are not limited to, shadowing with hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis nurses, shadowing with the nephrology nutritionist, serving as a counselor at solid organ transplant camp, attendance/observation at Quality Assessment Performance Improvement (QUAPI), Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Patient Assessment (CIPA), and transplant selection meetings.

Orientation

Orientation is a required, 6 – 8 week rotation.  During this experience, residents will complete two days of new hire orientation at Children’s of Alabama (COA), where they will receive general hospital legal, regulatory, and safety training.  Residents will then train in and orient through various traditional dispensing areas of the pharmacy.  Residents will receive and be expected to read and understand all pharmacy department policies and procedures, as required of new hire pharmacists.

Training areas include the IV room, inpatient order verification, PYXIS and controlled substances, operating room, and inpatient production, including the PO area.  Orienting areas will include inventory, investigational, and PedsRx Pharmacy Solutions outpatient pharmacy.  Residents will be trained in chemotherapy techniques and will also receive sterile product/parenteral training, including a state-wide parenteral certification training course.  Residents will also complete pediatric advanced life support (PALS) and University of Alabama (UAB) institutional review board (IRB) training and certification.  Most training experiences will take place during first (day) shift, however, experiences on second and third shifts may be included as time allows.

The focus of this rotation is the provision of knowledge of COA pharmacy operating procedures and skills using pharmacy electronic programs, both of which are needed during staffing requirements and clinical rotations.  During this rotation, residents will also meet with longitudinal rotation preceptors (including, but not limited to pharmacokinetics, anticoagulation, management, and drug information) for initial orientation and training assignments as applicable for these rotations.

Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU)

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) rotation is a required 4 week critical care rotation. The focus of this core rotation is to provide pharmaceutical care services to the 22-bed PICU patient population and the interdisciplinary team. The PICU medical team consists of an attending physician, critical care fellows, two nurse practitioners, four PGY2/PGY3 medical residents, and sometimes a medical student (MSIV). Other members of the PICU multidisciplinary team include a clinical pharmacist, clinical nutritionist, respiratory therapist, primary nurse, social worker, and sometimes other medical professional students.  The patients include children of all ages, both previously healthy and those with underlying disease.  Unique to this unit are patients on ventilators, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), post-operative patients, investigational drug studies, the capability to provide extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and inhaled nitric oxide.

The clinical pharmacy specialist on the team is responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for all patients admitted to the unit, including active participation in daily rounds helping to identify and resolve any medication related problems.  As a clinical pharmacist daily collaboration with centralized pharmacists is necessary to assure timely medication availability and delivery; education of patients and their family members, education of physicians and nurses, and education of pharmacy trainees; participation in the pharmacy department on-call program; and, participation on organizational, pharmacy department and nursing unit-based medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues daily for patients and will work toward assuming care of all patients on the unit throughout the learning experience.  The resident will provide and document therapeutic drug monitoring services for patients on their team receiving drugs requiring monitoring including, but not limited to, aminoglycosides and vancomycin. The resident is responsible for providing and documenting education to patients/families on their team who will be discharged receiving anticoagulation. 

Good communication and interpersonal skills are vital to success in this experience.  The resident must devise efficient strategies for accomplishing the required activities in a limited 4 week time frame.

Pharmacokinetics

The clinical pharmacokinetics rotation is a required, longitudinal rotation. The primary purpose of this rotation is to allow the resident to gain confidence in his/her knowledge in the specific area of pharmacokinetics and have the opportunity to integrate those skills into practice throughout the year.  This will also allow the resident to gain sufficient practice time to develop independent patient problem-solving skills and enhance overall experience in this area.

While practicing at the health system, the resident will be part of the clinical team that includes attending physicians, medical fellows and residents, nurses and nurse practitioners.  The resident will be expected to cooperate and interact with each member of the team and become a resource for each of them. By becoming a trusted member of the team and gaining confidence in his/her ability to function as the pharmacists for everyone on the team and our patients, the resident will become a vital component of the health care team.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues for patients receiving medications on COA pharmacokinetic service and will work toward assuming care of all designated patients (includes all patients without a clinical pharmacist designated to the team).  The resident will provide and document therapeutic drug monitoring services for patients followed and will be responsible for making recommendations for care.  Documentation must be completed on the day service was provided.  Throughout the longitudinal experience, the resident will be required to complete a 10-12 week orientation and training process, pass a pharmacokinetics competency exam with at least a score of 85% (must be completed by October 1st of each residency year), participate in clinical call every 3rd week (rotating with co-residents), and staff every 3rd weekend (clinical and non-clinical staffing as deemed by RPD).  Residents are expected to completed a weekly log of time spent each call week on pharmacokinetic responsibilities.  The purpose of this is to determine cumulative time spent each week so that it can be evaluated quarterly, and so that the preceptor and RPD can determine if clinical rotation responsibilities are hindered due to patient volume of PK call.  On average the resident can expect anywhere between 5-20 patients per day for pharmacokinetic monitoring.  It will be the responsibility of the on call resident to find suitable coverage in case of approved absences (PTO, conference, interviews). Good communication and interpersonal skills are vital to success in this experience.  The resident must devise efficient strategies for accomplishing the required activities in a limited time frame.  

Practice Management

The management rotation is a longitudinal rotation for pharmacy residents.  The focus of this rotation is to provide the opportunity for the development in leadership, operational and financial management, and administrative skills necessary for the successful completion of the management practice rotation.   Skills will also be developed in planning, organizing, implementing, and monitoring and evaluating.   Residents will be required to provide the following services:

  • Perform compliance audits (anticoagulation and controlled substance usage)
  • Attend Crucial Conversations class (must register in Children’s University).
  • Evaluate the medications on one order set for appropriateness for the Order set Review Committee.
  • Attend 5 Pharmaceutical Stewardship Committee meetings
  • Implement one change in the medication-use system related to medication errors, medication shortages, or an ISMP or other best practice recommendation.
  • Discuss resources to keep updated on trends and changes within pharmacy and healthcare with the Director of Pharmacy.
  • Discuss current changes to laws and regulations and their affect on the Department of Pharmacy with the Director of Pharmacy.
  • Discuss the governance of the health care system with the Director of Pharmacy.
  • Research Myers/Briggs personality types and discuss
  • Research interviewing techniques and discuss
  • Participate in residency interviews
  • Research regulatory and safety requirements for the COA Department of Pharmacy and have a discussion with the Director of Pharmacy.
  • Report at least 5 adverse drug events in the Patient Safety Reporting System (PSR)
  • Have a budget discussion with the Director of Pharmacy
  • Prepare the travel budget
  • Attend 4 pharmacy policy and procedure meetings and revise/write one policy or standard operating procedure.
  • Review 3 ISMP Quarterly Action Agendas (www.ISMP.org)
  • Attend 5 Medication Evaluation Team meetings
  • Research 2 medication errors
  • Attend 3 Medication Safety meetings
  • Submit Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s pharmacokinetic coverage schedule

Project Management

Project management is a required, longitudinal rotation.  During this experience, residents will complete a major residency project over a period of approximately 10 months.  Project topics are submitted annually to the residency program director (RPD) by preceptors willing to serve as project preceptor for that residency year.  Alternately, a resident may propose a project topic, but is responsible for securing a preceptor willing to precept their suggested topic.  All topics submitted must be approved by the RPD and the residency advisory committee (RAC).  Topics must involve either pharmacy-related medical research, evaluation or development of pharmacy department policies and procedures, or development and evaluation of a service to benefit Children’s of Alabama patients.  

During this rotation, the pharmacy resident is responsible for selecting a residency project (with guidance from the RPD and proposed project preceptors) and submitting the topic selected to the RPD for approval and assurance of lack of overlap with other concurrent residents’ projects.   The resident must then research and submit a written project idea proposal to the RPD and project preceptor.  The resident must complete University of Alabama (UAB) institutional review board (IRB) training and work to obtain any necessary funding or approval for the project to be conducted, including IRB approval. 

Additionally, the resident must submit a formal abstract of the project and perform a formal presentation of the project results at the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) residency showcase.  Additional practice presentations at Children’s and/or with other local residents will be arranged as appropriate prior to the PPAG showcase.  Finally, the resident is expected to submit a final write-up of the project, including results, to the RPD and project preceptor in a manuscript form suitable for publication.  The resident and project preceptor are encouraged to pursue publication of this manuscript.

Pulmonary

The pulmonary rotation is a required, four-week rotation for pharmacy residents. The focus of this rotation is the provision of complete pharmaceutical care services to the pulmonary patient population. The patients include inpatients on the pulmonary service and patients in the outpatient pulmonary clinics with various pulmonary disorders.

The clinical pharmacy specialist on the team is responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for all patients admitted to the team, including active participation in nurse practitioner and medical resident rounds daily; collaboration with decentralized pharmacists to assure timely medication availability; education of patients and their family members, education of physicians and nurses, and education of pharmacy trainees; participation in the pharmacy department pharmacokinetics on-call program; and, participation on organizational, pharmacy department and nursing unit-based medication policy and continuous quality improvement committees.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for identifying and resolving medication therapy issues for patients and will work toward assuming care of all patients on the service throughout the learning experience.  The resident will provide and document therapeutic drug monitoring services for patients on their team receiving drugs requiring monitoring, including, but not limited to, aminoglycosides and vancomycin.  Documentation must be completed on the day service was provided. The resident will also be responsible for educating patients and their families on medications prior to hospital discharge and facilitating the discharge process.

Regional Poison Control Center (RPCC)/Toxicology

Regional Poison Control Center (RPCC) is an elective, two to four week learning experience at Children’s of Alabama.  The RPCC has been a long term commitment of COA to the citizenry of Alabama since 1958. The RPCC was the 14th center established in the United States, during a time period when serious morbidity and mortality was attributed to poison ingestion in children and adults. Since its inception, the Center engaged in providing the most accurate and rapid poison information to only physicians in the early years and then to both the professional and general public. The RPCC has provided 24/7, toll free access of life saving information since 1978. The RPCC is a fully certified poison center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Throughout the years of dedicating substantial resources to developing a quality professional staff, quality assurance programs, data surveillance and research, 800 number access and state of the art informational resources, the RPCC serves the entire State of Alabama as the only certified statewide center by the Alabama Department of Public Health. The center will handle 70,000 or more poison calls per year. A vital component of this quality professional service is a statewide educational program designed to heighten public and professional awareness of the center, to inform parents and caregivers of the best preventive actions, and to provide continuing education for healthcare professionals on the assessment, triage and management of poisoned patients. Advanced Hazmat Life Support courses, grand rounds on topics in clinical toxicology, medical toxicology consultations and other educational/clinical services are provided. Special emphasis is placed upon providing such education and service to rural, traditionally underserved areas of the state. In fact, over the last 7 years, the RPCC has teamed with Healthy Child Care Alabama, a statewide network of public health nurses who are assigned counties in the state to provide preventive health education. The collaboration has resulted in significant increases in the awareness of rural area citizens. The work in primary prevention continues to be an integral component of our center and augments the effectiveness of the informational services provided.

Center staff includes nurse and pharmacist specialists in poison information (certified by national examination and sponsored by the American Association of Poison Control Centers). The management team includes a doctoral credentialed environmental toxicologist managing director, an emergency medicine boarded pediatrician medical director and a medical toxicology boarded co-medical director. Advanced level consultation is available from this team beyond the initial level of contact to our center staff.  and is provided on a 24/7 basis.

The focus of this rotation for pharmacy residents is to provide triage, treatment recommendations and follow up with the public exposed to various poison and healthcare professions caring for poisoned patients, regardless of age, throughout the state of Alabama.  Residents will  listen to  exposure calls, make hospital follow-ups, and will consult with healthcare professionals to make treatment recommendations on poison exposures. 

Staffing

The staffing rotation is a required, longitudinal rotation. The focus of this rotation is to provide the opportunity for the development of various traditional processing and dispensing skills. Skills will also be developed in operating procedures and the utilization of pharmacy electronic programs, both of which are needed to fulfill the rotation.  The pharmacy resident is responsible for assuming dispensing roles in the central pharmacy for oral and IV medication production and dispensing.  The pharmacy resident will work towards full proficiency in all staffing positions in the central pharmacy with the ability to fill any staff opening by the end of the rotation.

Staffing assignments will be every 3rd weekend (clinical and non-clinical components), every 3rd Thursday from 4pm – 10pm (non-clinical inpatient component), and other days assigned by the RPD (clinical and non-clinical components) to total no more than 15 additional weekdays during the residency year.

Teaching and Learning Certificate  

The purpose of the Teaching and Learning Certificate (TLC) Program at Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy (MSOP) is: “To obtain fundamental knowledge required to effectively educate others and to gain confidence in their abilities to provide education and function in an academic environment.” 

Goals of participation in the TLC at Children’s of Alabama include:

  1. Gain skills in becoming an effective teacher by developing critical thinking abilities in learners.
  2. Build ability in adjusting teaching activities to level of knowledge of audience.
  3. Gain experience with active learning strategies.
  4. Develop effective precepting skills.
  5. Build ability in providing effective feedback to learners.
  6. Increase comfort in public speaking.

Minimum requirements of the TLC program include:

  1. Attend and participate in teaching-related educational seminars - Teaching and learning seminar topics fall into different topical areas covering the role of a teacher, classroom management, interprofessional education, lesson/lecture plans, curricular design, evaluation/assessment and precepting. Residents will complete the program through face to face sessions and online assignments.
  1. Develop and deliver at least 30 minutes of “formal lecture” - The resident in concert with his/her teaching mentor or TLC coordinator will identify a learning session the resident will provide. 
  1. Small group discussion - Residents will also be required to be involved in facilitation of small group (>5 learners) learning experiences. 
  1. Laboratory Instruction - Residents will get experience in developing a laboratory/simulation type activity for learners, preferably with school of pharmacy students. 
  1. Serve as a co/preceptor for at least one Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE or IPPE) - The resident’s residency program director will work with the resident to determine the most appropriate time for experiential teaching to occur. Because pharmacy practice experiences are scheduled in advance, the resident may not be the preceptor of record, but still assumes substantial teaching responsibilities. These activities may include, but are not limited to, working with the primary preceptor on activities and assessments, developing experience goals and activities, assisting with learning activities, and evaluating student assignments. 
  1. Document teaching activities and experiences in PharmAcademic including self reflection on accomplishments and opportunities for improvement.
  2. Participate in a “learning community” Residents will be assigned a MSOP faculty mentor and grouped into learning communities based upon who their assigned teaching MSOP faculty mentor.