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515 Inpatient Pediatrics Experience and Reflections

Edited by: Maria Hajiharis, Angel Posadas

Hello pharmacy students! I had the opportunity to interview Maria Hajiharis (Class of 2025), an incoming P4, who just had an IPPE 515 pediatrics rotation at UI Health. Read on to see what Maria’s experience was like at this rotation.

Angel: Which rotation site did you choose, and why?

Maria: I chose the inpatient pediatric rotation at UI Health because I took the pediatric elective in the fall and really enjoyed it. I have an interest in clinical pharmacy, but I am also interested in taking care of kids so I wanted more real-life experience in this field.

Angel: I am glad that you were able to get this rotation! What does a typical day at this rotation look like for you?

Maria: A typical day on rotation starts by meeting with my preceptor to discuss the patients that I worked up the night before. After we run through my patients and the rest of the patients on the list, I attend the rounds with the entire pediatric team where we bring up medication changes that we discussed prior to rounds. After rounds finish, we run through the list and do any med recs that we think are necessary. After lunch, we get the "meds to beds" or discharge medications for patients that are ready to be discharged that day and counsel them on all of the medications we are sending them home on.

Angel: Sounds pretty routine and typical for what I imagine a pediatrics inpatient rotation at UI health. What were the most valuable lessons or skills you gained during this rotation?

Maria: I improved my patient workup and independent literature search skills by having to work up patients every single week. This rotation pushed me to educate myself on topics that I was uncomfortable with and allowed me to expand my Epic skills as well.

Angel: Those skills are so valuable to have before going on APPEs, I’m glad you had many opportunities to work on them. Can you share a memorable patient interaction or case study?

Maria: In this rotation, I was introduced to a lot of pediatric specific disease states that are rare and uncommon. One week, the patient that I worked up and did a med rec on had a very rare metabolic disorder that he was born with. I learned the following day that he had passed away overnight. It is a very big deal when a child passes away, so this patient interaction is one that I will never forget.

Angel: Wow yeah, you never really get a chance to think about real-life patients when you’re in your classes so when you actually take care of them in clinic, it brings a different perspective. How did this rotation influence your career aspirations or areas of interest within pharmacy?

Maria: This rotation gave me more insight on pediatric pharmacy which was an interest of mine before beginning the rotation. You’ll be able to see if you actually enjoy working with this population. It is definitely a great learning opportunity, even if you don’t have an interest in pediatrics. It will also allow you to experience the patient-parent dynamic in pediatric care, in which you also engage with family members rather than solely interacting with individual patients.

Angel: That is an interesting dynamic between the caregivers and patients. I think as part of the healthcare team, we also have to know how to navigate those relationships to provide the best care to patients. How would you rate this rotation from 1-5 (1 being the easiest class ever, 5 to being the most difficult class you've taken at COP)?

Maria: I’d give it a solid 3. If you have any questions about this rotation, feel free to email me: 

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