A minute with …
Jennifer Garson, 2023 PharmD candidate at Purdue University College of Pharmacy
Pharmacy Intern, Walgreens, Lafayette, IN
Member since 2019
“Being a student pharmacist member in APhA enabled me to be curious and discover the type of caregiver and leader that I want to be, regardless of the setting in which I choose to practice. My experiences as a member have given me opportunities to establish and nurture meaningful relationships, develop, and practice critical leadership skills as well as to flourish into a passionate patient care advocate.”
How has APhA helped you establish meaningful connections?
Connection is why I joined APhA initially, and connection is why I choose to remain a member. An older student encouraged me to join, and she is just one of many diverse and meaningful APhA relationships that have shaped my pharmacy journey. Throughout my years of involvement, APhA has enabled me to meet current and future pharmacy leaders who are passionate about our profession.
How has APhA helped prepare you for your career as a pharmacist (e.g., experiences in patient care projects, leadership opportunities, advocacy, etc.)?
As a student, I strongly believe that our education must go beyond the classroom. While didactic coursework is crucial, experiences gained through organizations like APhA empowered me to learn about myself and who I want to be. Serving as the vice president of membership for my chapter allowed me to implement my passions for developing others, interacting with diverse groups of people, and creating excitement about pharmacy.
What excites you about the profession of pharmacy?
The opportunity for growth and impact on patient care and outcomes excites me most. Pharmacists are in a unique position to increase health care access and affordability for all patients. As health care continues to become more complex and difficult to navigate, pharmacists must be on the forefront of change and advocacy to allow for more collaborative and comprehensive care.
Can you share a meaningful story about a time you interacted with a patient? Perhaps a time you felt like you really made a difference for them?
My local chapter of APhA–ASP hosts free health fairs for students and people in the community several times throughout the year.
I was volunteering at the BP station for one of these health fairs when a visibly nervous student approached me for their screening. The student explained that both his father and grandfather had suffered major heart attacks, and he was worried about his own heart health given the family history. We sat and chatted for a few minutes, as I hoped to calm some of his nerves prior to completing the BP reading. His first and second readings revealed elevated BP, and I explained that this was only a screening and that it would be best to follow up with his doctor. We also discussed some nonpharmacologic options for lowering his BP and that's when I saw a shift in the student's outlook; he had no idea that canned and frozen foods often contain large amounts of salt, which can adversely affect BP. This was an empowering discovery for the student, as he felt that it would be an easy change in his diet to consume less of those foods and make a positive difference in his health.
That student left the health fair much calmer and more confident than he had entered, and I was proud to have played a small role in making that possible.
Get involved in APhA
Pain, Palliative Care, and Addiction SIG
Interested in pain management? APhA's Pain, Palliative Care and Addiction Special Interest Group (SIG) supports pharmacists and student pharmacists who care for patients with all types of acute and chronic pain and for patients with life limiting illnesses who have pain and other symptoms. They also educate, collaborate with, and support pharmacists and student pharmacists interested in associated issues such as substance use disorders, medication abuse, and medication diversion.
The Pain, Palliative Care and Addiction SIG also supports APhA's Opioid Use and Misuse Resource Center, which can be found at pharmacist.com/Practice/Patient-Care-Services/Opioid-Use-Misuse
Test to treat with Paxlovid
FDA recently revised Paxlovid's (Pfizer) EUA to allow pharmacists to prescribe this medication to eligible patients who test positive for COVID-19. To help our members, APhA has developed and collected multiple resources to help you navigate Paxlovid prescribing.
Check out our resource for testing to treat with Paxlovid at apha.us/Paxlovid, where you can find a tool to help you determine a patient's eligibility for Paxlovid treatment, answers to frequently answered questions, and more!