Monday, October 14, 2013

Beauty in Crisis: the dance of the Pediatric Pharmacist

G is a beloved Pediatric Pharmacist in our hospital. She is thorough yet collegial, encyclopedic yet approachable.

Tonight during a crisis I realized yet again why she is invaluable. I am in the last weeks of my first Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) rotation. Tonight, like other nights, a very sick patient became critically ill. She needed infusions and doses of medications out of the normal ranges and she needed them fast.

I power-walked to the pharmacy to pick up some meds and I got to watch G in action. Together we researched doses and administration. And then I got to sit back and watch the master at her work. She floated. She glided. All the while silently mouthing things to herself like a dancer reviewing her choreography. She taught me her choreography, explaining why she was drawing up the medication in this way, why she was adding it to a carrier fluid in that way. The entire time I was enraptured. It made the physically and emotionally draining night more manageable and allowed me to step back and see the beauty in this crisis. I saw how the members of the team, including me, worked together to bring a patient on the brink of death back to life.


  1. Our pharmacist in the surgical ICU is much the same. Hooray for amazing, sanity and patient saving teams.

  2. I had a similar experience with the SICU pharmacist when I did that rotation. So smart! I wonder how people know about that career when they are 17.

  3. It's so nice to a thoughtful blog about a pharmacist. I am a pediatric clinical pharmacist myself and I love being part of the team.
    I have often wondered why there is no pharmacist mommy contributing on this blog. We are mothers in medicine too.

  4. I love, love, love the pharmacists at my hospital. I gush to them and everyone else about how they save our assess, save our patients, save our dignity and our reputation time and time and time again. I know the pharmacy number by heart and as a senior, the piece of advice I gave my interns by far the most often was: call the pharmacist! I am so grateful that there are smart people who are detail-oriented enough to be able to live at the level of the details and get it right every time.

  5. sounds silly but at my hospital it seems our pharmacist are so invaluable but never get the praise/recognition they deserve..... I wonder if you could cut and paste your blog post to send to your hospital "kudos" system or email to the nurse manager and they could forward it to the pharmacy supervisor in order to recognize this shining star in the midst of a storm.


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