During the first year of pharmacy school, as a student, we have the opportunity to go to a shadow visit, where we spend the day observing the work of a PharmD in one of the many fields of pharmacy. My shadow visit took place at Resources for Seniors (RFS) in Raleigh. RFS, is an organization dedicated to serving senior citizens and disabled adults in Wake County. It provides home and community based services including direct care, care management, consulting, information, outreach and other support services such as the Medication Education for Drug Safety (MEDS) program and the Medication Assistance Plan for Seniors (MAPS).
During my visit, I had the opportunity to help Dr. Casey at the East Wake Senior Center in Wendell, where I was able to practice the blood pressure measurement skills I learned during our first Pharmacy 331 lab. Caring for the elderly as a health care professional, not only requires a specific set of knowledge and skills to deal with their age specific physiological and mental conditions, but also empathy and compassion. I was instructed on how to perform a “sensitivity testing”; I was provided with special glasses that distort visual acuity, color and depth perception, had to stuff my ears with cotton balls, in order to impair my hearing, and put 3 gloves on one hand in order to mimic the symptoms of arthritis. Things that we take for granted, such as good eyesight, hearing, the ability to move and perform tasks without pain or discomfort, and the ability to control bodily functions, become at times debilitating factors that can affect the daily lives of senior citizens. Overall, this was a wonderful opportunity. My career goal is to become a geriatric pharmacist, and this experience further strengthened my desire to do so.