How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Affected Pharmacy Education for Students
Pharmacy Times® interviewed Hamna Khan, a pharmacy student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a pharmacy intern at Walgreens Pharmacy, and a pharmacy technician at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, on how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected her education and experience thus far in the field of pharmacy.
The discussion included how the pandemic has affected her pharmacy internship and other pharmacy work, what lasting changes the pandemic may have brought to the pharmacy field, and how Khan has managed her mental health and student stressors during the pandemic.
Khan explained that her undergraduate research had focused on managing stress, depression, and anxiety, so the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic caused her to refocus and reconsider her own mental health with a new perspective.
“For me, COVID-19 really made me focus on the things I was lacking in regard to ‘Oh I don't get to finish my semester as a P1 with my friends, I don't get to go to lab and experience the things I wanted to, I can't go and do all the cool student org things that we had planned out for the semester,’” Khan said. “I think, for me, what helped me in my practice of taking care of myself was trying to note 3 things a day that I was grateful for. It was even as small as like, I had a good meal today or I get to call my friends this weekend. So, gratitude definitely made some of the darker moments a little bit brighter.”
Khan also discussed what first piqued her interest in studying pharmacy, whether the COVID-19 pandemic has changed or strengthened her career focus, or affected her motivation for a career in pharmacy, how COVID-19 has changed the role of the pharmacist in terms of health care, and what the value of the pharmacist is to health care and the community.