This is another episode of the Pharmacy Internship Experience series brought to you from the stables of thatinternist blog. Lol! Why so serious?
This experience is from darling Tolu (see that beautiful smile up there) day one supporter of this blog, like she deserves an award for real. Tolu shares with us her experience as a Pharmacy Intern at National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi (NOHIL) . Thank you very much sister girl. I am sure you all will enjoy and get something valuable from her experience. Let’s do this.
Tell us about you:
I’m ToluWAlope Adeoya but you could just call me Tolu (as usual) but pls NOT Tolulope…Go short,long or GO HOME!. I attended the University of Lagos and graduated in 2015 with a B.Pharm degree. There’s a fairly long list of things I love to do but if I had to mention three; they would be Singing, Writing, and Reading… Oh wait, I have to add Gisting lol…mostly with my close friends though.
I’m not quite sure I had a ‘favorite part’ of pharmacy school but I really did enjoy the labs (well except Pharmacology lab, there was just something about those animals that irked me). Weird right? I know but I later on realized how much I enjoyed actually doing the work in there especially with my friends (like minds *wink) One random fun fact would be that despite the fact that I mostly appear to keep a straight face, I could be super duper weird and goofy(with a few people though)and I laugh a lot…I mean a lot
How was the struggle to get a placement?
Err…okay first I already narrowed down the sector I wanted to work in (yeah I’m serious like that). I had previously, at different times, worked at NAFDAC and Healthplus which for me signified Industrial and Community Pharmacy experience, so I wanted something different to further narrow down my interests which was why I opted for Hospital Pharmacy.
Now there are a number of hospitals around so narrowing down my choices again, it wasn’t going to be LUTH, even though I wrote their exam as a way to experience what such entrance exams are like. I was not opting for LUTH mainly because after my clerkship experience there I was not keen on being there again. I finally decided on National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos and it was honestly the best decision.
Did you have any or some sort of connection?
Now at this stage, let me just say a lot of people ‘know someone’ to get internship placements. Don’t let them deceive you with their funny statements like …(you know these things so let’s not get into it). Now notwithstanding, a handful of people actually get in on merit…but me?
YES I knew someone but this ‘someone’ I knew is pretty stern and had clearly stated that she could only be of help as long as I had done very well in the exam and interview because she wouldn’t leave those that passed and be trying to help someone that didn’t. So yeah…I studied like everyone else…no need testing the waters with failure!
So how did the application process go?
Fast forward to after induction, I submitted my credentials and waited to be called for the exam as many apply but few are chosen. I got the call and was super pumped but what I didn’t know was after the exam,the interview would commence…same day. You can imagine my surprise… (Can you really?)
Exam day rolled around and I met a couple of my friends and we studied together(in Anjy’s car) and finally went in for the exam.
After the exam came the surprise news, “pls proceed to the next hall and wait to be called for your interview” Literally all the warning bells in my head went off, like…WHAT?!$@:!,&,’s.
Lol. How did you feel when you eventually got in?
Well needless to say after the interview I started thinking of some other place to apply to. I had freaked out so much that when I got in I was already in panic mode… The board seemed so calm and serious all at the same time and I just couldn’t gather my thoughts.
I remember thinking “it’s over” when I was asked to give more answers to the question the candidate before me was asked… I couldn’t think of anything. I had never been so blank. Well I got another chance to answer the next question and though I was a lot calmer than before I still didn’t feel like I pulled my weight as I ought to.
I walked out thinking I had failed and I needed to think of other options. In fact the next day I got my credentials ready to take them to NAFDAC. Funny thing is those I went for the interview with were trying to assure me but nahhhh my mind was made up… I was going to try NAFDAC. Needless to say, NAFDAC fell through for one major reason that I think we should all learn from “Not everyone that says they’ll help you ACTUALLY mean it.” So be prepared.
Anyway I was sitting in my Dad’s office and I got a call, and all I remember the lady saying was “…come and pick your letter so you can start your Medicals as soon as possible.” I was elated…like so many shades of excited!! I hurried to my parents to give them the news.
Tell us about the activities carried out as an intern?
Fast forward to after medical tests and all that, I finally reported for duty 14th of April and orientation commenced soon after. After Orientation, we settled into our roles. A roster was drawn up and we were posted to various units. In , there are various departments – casualty pharmacy, main pharmacy, children’s pharmacy, staff clinic pharmacy, ward supply, Mobolaji Bank Anthony pharmacy (MBA), Drug Information Centre/Drug Revolving Fund unit and the Pharmacy store.
With Igbobi, honestly it’s a lot of work…we ran day and night calls. The good part is you get to actually carry out pharmaceutical care, follow up your patients, go on Ward rounds with a team of other health professionals and make valid contributions and then, there’s the Thursday afternoon departmental clinical meeting where we present reports from our ward rounds and we discuss with our older colleagues interventions that were made. We also had group presentations at different intervals. Their patients are their topmost priority,hence counseling and Pharmaceutical Care are at the top of the list there.
How was the benefits and treatment by the senoir colleague?
NOHIL Pharmacy department is like one big family…they’re very welcoming and the senior colleagues are always ready to teach. As long as you do the right thing at the right time, you’re good to go!. The pay was good, though there was a little issue when we got in, the Director of Pharmacy got it sorted eventually. There were only 2 slots in terms of accommodation in the compound (our HOD’s Boy’s quarters) but I got a private accommodation somewhere not too far so commuting wasn’t that much of a task for me. We got to attend the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)conference in Abuja and it was fun. The hospital sponsored a part of the expenses and we covered the rest.
We went on an excursion to Gurara falls in Niger state while we were there, met a couple of older colleagues, and to top it all off, our HOD received an award at the Banquet on the final day in honor of her outstanding contribution to hospital and administrative pharmacy…We were super proud of her!
Any final words?
I absolutely enjoyed my experience there, though there were days when I just wanted to be done with it. It wasn’t all rosy but it was definitely worth it… I Wwouldn’t have traded that time for anything. I learnt a great deal, met and worked with amazing interns. It’s not just business as usual there, they do things properly and they’re open to improvement, and that’s another thing I love about NOHIL.
Once again it’s not all rosy, colleagues would get on your nerves, patients would be blatantly rude to you, nurses might annoy you but the truth is at the end of the day, when you look back on the whole experience, you’ll realize it was worth it.
As far as I’m concerned it’s one of the best places for your internship. Be ready to work and most importantly, be ready to learn.
Thank you Toluwalope for sharing your experiences with us. She also blogs at bloomnthots and is getting her groove back soon, so check her blog out. We wish you all the very best and we can’t wait to celebrate with you at the top.
Did you miss any of the episodes of the internship experience, we got you;Catch them out here as NAFDAC experience , Abuja experience , Medplus experience , military experience , Psychiatry experience and Luth experience .
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Enjoy the weekend guys.