Alumna: 'The Profession of Pharmacy is Definitely Evolving'

The profession of pharmacy is changing all the time, and through her three years in Pacific University’s School of Pharmacy, Erin Wilson ’05, PharmD ’18, had a chance to see it all.

“People have this idea that pharmacists just fill your prescription when you go to Fred Meyer,” she said. “They do that, and that is a very real and very important part of our profession.”

But that’s not all.

“There are pharmacists that are managing patients’ medications in primary care settings,” she said. “There are pharmacists rounding in ICUs every day and responding to code blues in hospitals in emergency departments.”

Through her rotations during her doctor of pharmacy program at Pacific, Wilson had a chance to work in the institutional pharmacy unit of a hospital, learning how medications get where they need to go. She worked a rotation in internal medicine, helping ensure that patients’ home medications were continued when they were admitted to the hospital and supporting the doctors and physician assistants providing primary care. And, she had a round in the intensive care unit, where the intense drama depicted on TV came to live.

“It was very exciting,” she said. “You know on TV, how suddenly there’s a code, and they’re like, ‘Push 1 cc of epi!’ or whatever. In reality, there’s usually a pharmacist responding to those codes, drawing up a lot of those meds.”

Wilson, who completed her undergraduate degree at Pacific, returned to her alma mater to pursue her doctor of pharmacy degree through the School of Pharmacy in the College of Health Professions.

“I knew the professors here are all about supporting students and optimizing their education,” she said.

With the program’s heavy emphasis on interprofessional education for healthcare professionals and patient-based care, she gained a strong foundation in the breadth of the profession’s scope of practice.

“We’re a lot of places and doing a lot of things, and I think the profession is only going to continue to grow.”

Jun. 4, 2018