Karen KamenetskyHackettstown, New Jersey, United States
Working as a hospital pharmacist has enabled me to earn a good salary; have flexible working hours and enjoy intellectual and creative challenges. I welcome the daily interactions with the medical staff which allow me to participate directly in the medication management of our patients.
I work for Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, an acute care community hospital with about one hundred beds. The pharmacy department is staffed by six full-time pharmacists and supported by two part-time and four per diem pharmacists and approximately a dozen pharmacy technicians. The team is completed by a pharmacy manager and a compliance officer.
As Pharmacy Training and Education Coordinator, I train new employees in all areas of pharmacy responsibility, develop training materials, maintain records and conduct in-service education, annual competency assessments and community educational programs.
Here’s a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• How to develop and maintain expertise in the area of compounded sterile products; set up and operate a clean room; perform environmental testing; train employees to mix sterile products; assess competency and write effective policies and procedures.
• How to set up and maintain a chemotherapy admixture program that protects the safety of patients and the staff who prepare the doses.
• How to develop and execute a clinical monitoring program.
• How to develop and maintain training and competency assessment programs for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
• How to grow your responsibilities, move into new areas and enjoy your pharmacy career, no matter what degree you have.
Although direct patient care is the most rewarding aspect of hospital pharmacy, I also enjoy helping employees, new and old, master the tasks necessary for the performance of their job. I am routinely told by those I teach and those who observe my teaching that I am well suited to the task. I am often requested as a community speaker.
I began my career working in my dad’s community pharmacy and went on to work for three different pharmaceutical companies in formulation, pre-formulation and stability.
I left the pharmaceutical industry in search of work hours suitable for my needs as I raised my children. I left retail pharmacy because there was no professional satisfaction in the work I was doing. I moved to hospital pharmacy hoping it would provide more professional satisfaction and more flexible work hours. It has done that and more. I anticipated a decrease in salary, and that was originally the case, but salaries between the various areas of pharmacy practice have largely evened out.
I have the expertise and experience to train and advise pharmacists who have just finished their degree and those who have experience but still have years of work ahead of them and would like to grow their career.