March is Pharmacy Awareness Month (PAM). During this time, pharmacists promote their role to other health care professionals and patients within hospitals and related health care settings. The 2019 theme is “Your Hospital Pharmacy Team: Your Trusted Medication Experts” which reflects the integral role that the entire pharmacy plays in medication management.
“I am definitely motivated by all the positive experiences that surround me. To see a baby born premature, or have any issue at birth, be able to go home with their family, knowing that you were part of that experience, is extremely motivating,” Karlee Jones, clinical pharmacist in the NICU says. “I am also motivated by my NICU and pharmacy colleagues – everyone does such great work and we drive each other to do the best we can every day.”
Karlee’s work includes assessing medications daily and making recommendations to ensure safe and optimal use during patients’ stay and upon discharge. “I ensure they understand why their baby is receiving a medication, and understanding how to administer medications, and connect with community pharmacies to ensure smooth transition from hospital to community care,” explains Karlee. “In addition to working in the main dispensary of the pharmacy providing distributive services and assessing orders, I also devote time to research initiatives, including working with our pharmacy resident, Katelyn Hillier, on her current residency project (Comparison of Standard versus High Dose Ibuprofen for the Treatment of Hemodynamically Significant Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) in Preterm Infants).”
Katelyn will be finishing her pharmacy residency in June, when her project will be near completion. These results will be shared with the NICU and pharmacy community, and at various conferences and other functions, such as the pharmacy residency day that the IWK will be hosting in June. The IWK’s second pharmacy resident will be starting in June and this will be another opportunity for the department to pursue more research to have meaningful outcomes for IWK patient populations.
“I echo Karlee in that I am motivated by all of the innovation and positive experiences I have seen since starting at the IWK in June of 2018,” says Katelyn. “I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with my research team in optimizing the pharmaceutical care, and potentially improving outcomes for our little ones with PDA. There is a lot of opportunity here at the IWK, it is exemplary.”
Karlee says when she thinks about the PDA research that Katelyn has done with her residency project, it gives her hope that they’re ensuring that practices are optimal and safe, and it paves the way for continued research in this field. “Babies that receive treatment for PDA are usually premature babies that are at high risk of many complications aside from a PDA,” says Karlee. “If we can provide the best pharmaceutical care to the babies that need it the most for PDA treatment, then we can avoid high risk cardiac surgeries in this population and ensure that they can grow and become healthy children in the future. To play a part in that, even if small, is a very motivating and hopeful part of my job and life.”