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An Interview with an Outpatient Pharmacist

"For a professional pharmacist, it's very nice to be so close with the doctors and the nursing staff and to be able to get a hold of them when we need to." 
 
- Sara, outpatient pharmacist
Sara is a UW Health outpatient pharmacist.
 
Sara, outpatient pharmacistQ: What do you do for a living?
A: I'm an outpatient pharmacist for UW Health. My main responsibility is to the patients that I serve and to the clinic that we're in by helping the doctors and nurses with drug therapy for patients.
 
Q: What is a typical day like for you at the clinic?
A typical day would include dispensing refill medications to our regular customers and new medications to people coming to us from our clinic and outside of the clinic. It also includes lots of phone calls from doctors and nurses who have questions about certain drugs or questions about patient therapy. And I'd say that the pharmacist's main responsibility is to verify that all the prescriptions that leave the pharmacy are correct for the patient.
 
Q: What is your schedule like?
A: Our schedule can vary. I'd say most days are fairly regular and from 8:30am to 4:30pm, although some days there are 1pm-9pm shifts. As far as weekends, we usually work just one weekend day every four to five weeks.
 
Q: What do you like most about being an outpatient pharmacist for UW Health?
A: I like the staff that I work with both in the pharmacy and in the clinic. For a professional pharmacist, it's very nice to be so close with the doctors and the nursing staff and to be able to get a hold of them when we need to.
 
Q: What motivates you most in your career?
A: I would say hearing good things from our customers is probably the most motivational aspect.
 
Q: What is the atmosphere like at the clinic?
A: The atmosphere here at the clinic is very open and friendly. All of the staff seems to get along and work together, so it makes for a really good working environment.
 
Q: What originally got you interested in the pharmacy field?
A: I originally went into pharmacy because I liked math and science in school. And after I had looked around at different careers that would involve my interests, pharmacy just seemed like a really good fit.
 
Q: What are some unique aspects of being an outpatient pharmacist at UW Health?
A: I think as an outpatient pharmacist, a lot of times you are the "first line" for many patients. So I think it's always interesting because we see so many different things. And I think our opinion to the patients we serve really matters.