Author: Dip Patel, St. Louis College of Pharmacy SSHP Chapter President
St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s SSHP main focus over the past year was to provide an organization where students can exercise their leadership abilities while learning about Health-System pharmacy. Over the past year, we implemented 11 chair and co-chair positions to increase SSHP’s student involvement, increase the quality and quantity of our events, and encouraged students to take on more active roles. Our events have doubled with over 14 new events, and student leadership and involvement has increased within our organization, thus helping our members prepare for their future careers. STLCOP’s SSHP also had two students holding a national position – Joanna Huang was a member of the PSF Advancement of Pharmacy Practice and Dip Patel was a member of the PSF Leadership Development Advisory Group.
At the beginning of the year, SSHP promoted and participated in MSHP’s Fall meeting “Share the Vision.” Throughout the meeting, students were given the opportunity to attend many different sessions including topics of career and professional development. This meeting provided students with an opportunity to review their CV’s and meet with MSHP leaders. Our SSHP chapter emulated MSHP’s vision throughout the year to make our own events focusing on career and professional development for our students.
SSHP provided students with a tour opportunity at Mallinckrodt. The Nuclear Tour at Mallinckrodt provided insight to students as to how nuclear medicines are manufactured and what nuclear clinical pharmacists do on a daily basis. For most students, this was their first exposure to a nuclear medicine facility, and they were able to enhance their understanding of a potential career.
Our SSHP chapter also held the first-ever Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) Week at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. It is one of ASHP’s best-known initiatives to promote and advance the profession of pharmacy. Many students on campus are unaware of PAI week, so SSHP’s goal was to educate students on PAI and discuss ways students can maximize our profession’s potential.
SSHP’s annual Clinical Skills Competition always provides students with a great professional and academic development opportunity through a clinical knowledge competition. We encouraged students to utilize their knowledge and compete for a chance to represent STLCOP at Midyear.
Throughout the year, we provided a three part series to introduce students to residencies. The first part focused on the underlying basics of residencies. The second part focused on how students can make a great CV that showcases their professional development throughout school. The third part of the series focused on having faculty critique students’ CVs such that they could make necessary improvements. This Residency Series was many students’ first exposure to residencies and provided both undergraduate and professional students information on what career options can be made possible with a residency.
Additionally, we gave students exposure to non-traditional pharmacy careers by having Poison Control and Home Infusion Lunch and Learns. They were able to interact with pharmacists who worked in these settings to improve their understanding on the daily functions of their positions. This was an educational experience for students that developed their knowledge and understanding on a unique career.
Towards the end of the year, we held an Aseptic Technique Lab. We provided hands-on lab experience with preparing IV bags. This will help students on hospital rotations and future careers.
Over the next year, we plan to continue having new seminars, as well as service and networking opportunities to inspire students to explore their passion in health-systems pharmacy.