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How Student Pharmacists Can Make a Difference: COVID-19 and Beyond

When starting pharmacy school, I had no idea how much of an impact student pharmacists could have on patients. Throughout pharmacy school we would participate in counseling sessions, medication reconciliations, and giving vaccines. Little did I know just how much all of that preparation would come into play during my final year of pharmacy school!

Entering my rotations, I had no clue how much of role I was going to play in a patient’s life. I knew this would be even more of a challenge due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, but I was determined to make a difference as a student pharmacist. Throughout my community and clinical experiences, I was presented with many opportunities to counsel patients on their medications, perform medication therapy management services, make over the counter recommendations, and take time to listen to patients when they were isolated and had no one to talk to during the pandemic. As a student pharmacist I was presented with so many wonderful opportunities that only underscored the fact that this is the career that I was meant to do.

Having the opportunity to participate in the COVID-19 vaccines clinics has been far and away the most gratifying experience I have had as a student pharmacist. Vaccinating the public throughout this pandemic has been rewarding because patients would show up to clinic and thank us for everything that we were doing, while actually being excited to get a shot. This is when I really felt, as a pharmacy student, I was able to make a direct and concrete impact on a patient’s life. Pharmacy students have a huge impact on patients’ lives in the community setting. Whether it be vaccinating them against a pathogen that caused a worldwide pandemic or just talking to patients about their day, we can all make a difference!

Written by Jordan Whetzel, PharmD Candidate, West Virginia University School of Pharmacy on behalf of Team West Virginia

Pictured below is the vaccination team from West Virginia University School of Pharmacy

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