Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Masthead_for_webpageMARCH 14, 2017

Taylor ParksA Month with the Tennessee Pharmacists Association
APPE Student Rotation, August 2016

by K. Taylor Parks, 2017 PharmD Candidate
South College School of Pharmacy

On the first day of August, I wandered in to the TPA office not knowing what to expect. I had chosen this rotation, months prior, and had hoped to be accepted based on the recollections of previous TPA student pharmacist interns from South College. I understood that I would have the opportunity to interact closely with the TPA staff on various projects and learn how the association runs, but I couldn’t have imagined all of the experiences that were to come…

“I couldn’t have imagined all the experiences that were to come…”

Within the first few days, Dr. Lucy Adkins introduced me to the TPA staff, which were extremely welcoming. She then gave me a copy of the TPA calendar, and we discussed numerous events, meetings, conferences, and their importance. I was excited to hear that I, and another student pharmacist intern from ETSU Bill Gatton School of Pharmacy, Tyler Jones, would have the opportunity to participate in countless events, including meetings with pharmacists across Tennessee to discuss the innovative future of pharmacy, communicating with the Tennessee Society of Pharmacy Technicians, and attending the Emerging Leaders Program. We also journeyed to the State Capitol to meet Senator McNally and discuss bills related to our profession, helped conduct the Long-Term Care and Geriatric conference, assisted in editing the Naloxone State-wide Collaborative Pharmacy Practice agreement with the Tennessee Department of Health, and participated in updating our state and federal CLIA manuals.

Some of the most memorable parts of this rotation were the ones I didn’t expect, such as, learning about innovative pharmacy practice models, including Chronic Care Management in the community pharmacy setting from TPA’s executive fellow, Dr. Aaron Garst. It was eye-opening to see the various ways that pharmacists from all practice settings are using their clinical skills and medical expertise to provide exceptional care and disease management to patients in Tennessee. In the middle of my rotation, Dr. Micah Cost held a “staff day,” where the entire office participated in team-building exercises and learned about our personal strengths using a Strengths Finder assessment and presentation. At the end of the day, we all attended a Sounds baseball game! I enjoyed the exercises and attending the game, but it was also great to see the staff working together, learning about each other, and discussing how they could use each other’s strengths to work as a team as they support our Tennessee pharmacists. I also loved assisting Dr. Cost and Dr. Adkins in the immunization class, where I was able to help train pharmacists to administer subcutaneous and intramuscular injections.

“I have learned about so many aspects of pharmacy that I had not been exposed to before this rotation…”

Another opportunity that I was not expecting was to learn about the art of event-planning from Mrs. Donna Wiesner! It was interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look at our TPA meetings and the extensive amount of effort that it takes to put them together and make sure that they run flawlessly, which Mrs. Donna does so well. Getting to work alongside Dr. Cost, Dr. Adkins, Dr. Garst, Mrs. Wiesner, Ms. Lightfoot, Ms. Schuffman, Mrs. Shaw, Mrs. Fleming, Dr. Eidson, and Tyler has been an immense pleasure.

I have learned about so many aspects of pharmacy that I had not been exposed to before this rotation, as well as the importance of supporting the progression of our profession through TPA. I look forward to being a life-long active member and seeing our profession continue to progress due to the work that takes place in this office. Thank you, TPA!