I’ve precepted a lot of pharmacy students. I have seen some brilliant ones, and certainly some that I would’ve like to have seen a little more energy and passion from. Here’s my top 5 things you should never do if you are a pharmacy student.
- Show up late. Not showing up on time goes right to the core of professionalism and will leave a very poor impression. When you show up late, you are basically telling your preceptor that your time is more important than their’s. Emergencies do happen, and if you are going to be late, you must notify your preceptor as soon as is reasonable.
- Wing it. I have seen numerous students make this mistake. If you don’t know an answer (which happens to everyone), simply say, I’m not sure, but I will look it up. If it is a casual conversation where you are being “quizzed” by a preceptor, and you think you know the answer, simply say “I believe the answer is______, but I would have to double check for sure.”
- Dropping the ball. You will likely get numerous assignments from preceptors. The majority of preceptors will remember the assignments they gave you. Make sure you have your assignments completed within the deadline granted. Dropping the ball on a question or assignment you’ve been given will certainly not look good.
- Respecting other members of the team. I’ve have students sit in on team meetings. Pay attention, put away the drug reference/phone, and don’t have conversations with fellow students while the meeting is going on. If you are asked to look something up, then feel free to grab your resource of choice and look it up.
- Representing yourself as a pharmacist. You are not a pharmacist yet, there is nothing wrong with that. You may be approached by patients, nurses, physicians, etc. that may assume you are a pharmacist and ask you to do things a pharmacist would do. You should not be performing pharmacist functions without oversight from your preceptor.
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