General Medicine Rotation (PhPr 803)

The purpose of the General Medicine rotation (formerly known as the Adult Acute Care rotation) is to allow students to gain experience and develop skills in various roles in which a pharmacist contributes to patient care in an inpatient setting.

Prior to the rotation, the student should download the Checklist for All Rotations and the General Medicine Rotation Checklist can be used as guides for student activities during the rotation. 

Preceptors may download a Rotation Syllabus Template to use as a guide to create a syllabus for their rotation.

General Medicine Rotation Goals/Objectives

The following are guidelines regarding the activities in which students should gain experience or at least exposure during the General Medicine Rotation.  These may be modified to accommodate the student’s previous experience and goals as well as the preceptor's expertise and unique characteristics of a practice site. 

Overall ratings of the accomplishment of checklist tasks are reflected in items 1 and 2 (Knowledge/Application section) of the form used for the final rotation evaluation and grade assignment. 

1.  Clinical Pharmacist General Skills

  • Defines responsibilities of a clinical pharmacy consultant.
  • Describes strategies for getting clinical pharmacy recommendations implemented.
  • Describes strategies for dealing with patients or health care providers unhappy with clinical pharmacy recommendations. 
  • Explains strategies for prioritizing clinical pharmacy duties and deciding which patients should receive clinical pharmacy services first when time/staffing is limited such that all patients can’t be seen by a pharmacist. 
  • Describes working structure of the practice site and pharmacy department, including functions of various personnel and their relationship with the pharmacist
  • Explains and demonstrates aspects of professionalism pertinent to clinical pharmacists.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of billing procedures applicable to pharmacy services

2.  Health Care Planning and Medication Therapy Management 

  • Collects, organizes, and evaluates patient information from various sources including the patient chart, laboratory reports, medication administration records, communications with patient/other health care providers.
  • Evaluates existing medication therapy including indications of current medications; medication reconciliation on patient admission or transfer; appropriate dosing with respect to age, renal/liver function, alcohol use, and concurrent disease states; appropriate route of administration with respect to GI functional status and other patient specific characteristics; drug-drug interactions; applicable compliance issues; and monitoring parameters.
  • Applies disease state knowledge to evaluate therapeutic options for given diagnoses.  When recommending therapy, considers individual patient contraindications to medications such as allergies, concurrent disease states, and potential drug interactions; recommends appropriate dosing with respect to age renal/liver function, alcohol use, and concurrent disease states; and makes appropriate recommendations for monitoring therapy for adverse effects as well as desired outcomes
  • Considers social/economic issues that may affect therapy such as patient’s cultural influences, attitude towards care, and personal resources; medication cost; formulary status of medications desired by patient/physician.
  • Identifies appropriate interventions based on above factors. 

3.     Patient Care Activities 

  • Reviews/processes medication orders appropriately, if applicable to rotation site. 
  • Performs medication reconciliation activities for newly admitted/transferred patients
  • Participates in patient care rounds/conferences, analyzing each case presented, answering drug information inquiries in timely manner using appropriate references and research, identifying pertinent questions/issues that are not asked by the other members of the team, and effectively communicating with other members of the health care team.
  • When appropriate, provides patient education regarding disease state including usual course of disease progression with and without treatment; usual drug and non-drug therapies; and general precautions and recommended lifestyle modifications.
  • When appropriate, provides patient education regarding medication therapy including indication; dosing/instructions for use; potential side effects and precautions; and potential solutions to compliance problems.
  • Performs monitoring activities to assess efficacy and potential toxicity of drug therapies while patient is admitted, reporting status to health care team and patient when appropriate.  Appropriately explains monitoring goals to patient as well as other health care professionals
  • Demonstrates communication skills needed for interacting with patients health care team including clear articulation; appropriate terminology; use of open-ended questions; prioritization of discussion points; active listening; caring attitude; provision of complete and accurate information.  Students should also become familiar with resources available at practice site for communication with non-English speaking patients.
  • Documents patient care activities according to rotation site procedures

4.     Disease State/Therapeutic Knowledge

  • Demonstrates knowledge of conditions commonly encountered in adult acute care settings, such as diabetes, hypertension, acute coronary syndromes, stroke, asthma/COPD, clotting disorders, acute organ failure, acute/serious infections, trauma.  The list should reflect conditions most pertinent to the preceptor’s practice.  For these conditions, students should be able to describe basic epidemiology (prevalence/incidence); basic pathophysiology and natural course; usual therapies; situations in which usual therapy is not appropriate for an individual patient; goals of therapy; monitoring parameters; and strategies to prevent complications or acute relapse of the disease.
  • Demonstrates basic skills in therapeutic drug monitoring including knowledge of drugs commonly monitored using serum concentrations and their usual therapeutic ranges; accurate interpretation of drug concentrations considering timing of sampling with respect to drug administration and other patient specific factors; and recommends appropriate adjustments to therapy based on drug concentrations, using applicable calculations. 
  • Demonstrates basic skills in anticoagulation monitoring including knowledge of indications for prophylactic and therapeutic anticoagulation in hospitalized patients; monitoring parameters for heparin, warfarin, and other anticoagulants; and knowledge of anticoagulant intensity and duration desired for different anticoagulant indications.
  • Explains monitoring of insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents for efficacy and toxicity, identifying particular concerns for hospitalized patients.
  • Explains indications for IV hydration and considerations in selecting a particular fluid and rate of administration.
  • Explains essential considerations in assessing a patient’s acid-base balance
  • Explains methods for estimation of renal function and drug dosing implications for commonly used agents.
  • Explains considerations for appropriate use of antibiotics in hospitalized patients including the  process for selecting empiric antibiotic use in a non-neutropenic febrile patient; pathogens commonly associated with different types of infections; typical spectrum of activity of commonly used antibiotics; interpretation of gram stain and culture data; adjustments to antibiotic therapy that may be based on culture data; relative costs and potential formulary restrictions of antibiotics used in an institution; duration of antibiotic therapy for different indications; monitoring parameters; aminoglycoside monitoring and dose adjustments.
  • Demonstrates understanding of basic concepts of nutrition support in hospitalized patients including identification of appropriate candidates for enteral and parenteral nutrition, factors that determine initial TPN/enteral formula for a patient; how/why the initial formula may change during therapy; monitoring required for TPN patients; potential adverse effects of TPN; and factors that determine when/how a TPN should be discontinued.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of basic concepts of acute pain management including when and how to initiate, monitor, adjust, and discontinue analgesic therapy; assessment of pain; indications for use of opioids, NSAIDs, and other agents used for pain; adverse events associated with opioid and non-opioid analgesics; methods for converting IV analgesics to PO and changing from one opioid compound to another
Originally posted: August 29, 2013
Last updated: May 26, 2017
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