Cedarville pharmacy students in the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (AphA-ASP) shared information about immunizations and drug abuse at free health screenings in Xenia and Miamisburg on Oct. 19. Scarlet Lau, the current operation immunization chair for AphA-ASP, worked with other pharmacy doctorate students Kristin Lessig and Nicole Stute to plan this event.
“It was a really unique opportunity to be able to apply our knowledge in school to real life and be able to really communicate with patients,” Lau said.
Cedarville’s branch of AphA-ASP has worked with Walgreen’s pharmacy and One Bistro to provide three free health screening sessions throughout the fall season: one in September, one in October and one in November. Each of the sessions were held at One Bistro in Miamisburg and the Toward Independence,Inc. building in Xenia (connected to the One Bistro.) The students provided blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose screenings as well as flu shots.
Walgreens sponsored a one-to-one program in which people who can afford to pay for the flu shots can donate to those who cannot, and a Walgreens pharmacist was there to oversee the entire clinic.
Lau said her favorite part during the screenings was communicating with the patients. Many patients told Lau that they were afraid of immunization.
“It allowed for more counseling opportunities,” Lau said. “To explain the importance of why you should get your flu shot.”
At the October clinic, the Generation Rx program, part of APHA-ASP, offered educational activities on drug abuse awareness alongside the screenings in the Xenia location. Pharmacy doctorate students Samantha Yates and Rachel Bull, co-chairs of Generation Rx, put on the event in order to occupy children while their parents were being screened.
Yates, Bull and four other doctorate students set up three different activities for the kids: bingo, coloring sheets and a game where pharmacy students explained about drug abuse based on the color of skittles that children chose. Bull said that these activities met the program’s goal.
“We were able to talk with a lot of kids for the very first time about drug abuse,” Bull said.
Generation Rx does other activities as well, presenting at schools, support groups and working with Hope, an organization for children in trouble with the law. Yates said the organization is planning to expand into new activities. Bull described how the program seeks to reach a variety of populations and target groups with education on the issue of drug abuse.
“By fulfilling our profession [as pharmacy students], it is our duty to go out and help decrease this issue as much as we can,” Bull said.
Lau said that the pharmacy screenings as a whole provide students with an opportunity to use the skills of what they are learning in the classroom.
“Take advantage of these opportunities as soon as possible,” she said.
The next pharmacy screening is Wednesday, Nov. 19 in both locations.
Rebekah Erway is a junior journalism major and reporter for Cedars. She is a diehard Disney, Veggietales, and Lord of the Rings fan and enjoys speaking in a British accent.