If your preceptor refuses your assistance, then you can offer your services to other pharmacists or to the pharmacy technician. You do not have to learn from only your preceptor. However, it is best to devise an arrangement with the preceptor that you will work (not shadow) with another pharmacist or technician. Enlighten them that you would like to optimize your time spent and study from others, such as taking in prescriptions with the clerk, operating the cashier, providing drug information over the phone, giving patient consultations, reconstituting antibiotic suspensions, or placing auxiliary labels on prescription vials.
Another under appreciated benefit of internships is discovering your true affinity for pharmacy work. If all students were trained the same in school, then how did they divert to such different career paths? How does one decide to be a resident, fellow, medical liaison for drug companies, pediatric pharmacist, retail pharmacist, nuclear medicine pharmacist, professor, director of pharmacy, or regional manager of a retail chain? The answer is usually discovered during their internships. At a minimum, students are exposed to one retail and one hospital-based internship. They also have elective sites, such as nuclear pharmacy or compounding pharmacy. All internships will provide intern hours (required for the state examination) but they vary in the pharmacy services provided. When you are exposed to such diverse workplaces, one of them is bound to intrigue and excite you.
Having the Right Attitude
Although internships are created by the school, they are not part of the school. They are part of your early pharmacy career. Internships can be listed under WORK EXPERIENCES on your curriculum vitae because they are work experiences, paid or not. Dress for the position. Unless you are the hospital DJ, wearing a pair of ripped-up jeans and an iconic T-shirt are not acceptable. Wear your short lab coat (or smock) and name badge.If you are in doubt of what to wear, ask your preceptor or merely observe what they are wearing to provide hints. If they are wearing running shoes in a long-term care pharmacy, inquire if you can wear athletic shoes too. If they are wearing scrubs in a satellite ICU pharmacy, ask if you can wear scrubs too.
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