For Taylor Austin, being a pharmacist is perhaps one of the purest expressions of Marshall B. Ketchum University's commitment to the community; pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals that many people interact with. An individual can almost always find a pharmacist 24/7, until they have the chance to see a doctor or PA. Being able to scrutinize, advise and intervene when dispensing medication puts pharmacists on the front line and, for Taylor, the opportunity to play such a large role in a patient's health is one of the key reasons she is going into the profession.
Helping Shape a Program
At MBKU, Taylor has embraced the chance to be a part of a new program where certain elements of the curriculum are still malleable as they are being developed — giving her the opportunity to be a part of a legacy of pharmacy students who have had a hand in establishing a strong program.
One of the key values that Taylor appreciates about MBKU is its commitment to interprofessional education and collaboration. She saw the importance of this firsthand when she rotated through an in-patient pharmacy and discovered exactly the type of pharmacist she wishes to be. “My goal is to become a clinical pharmacist, where I have the opportunity to work closely with other health care professionals,” says Taylor. “Clinical pharmacists look at lab values and have some influence on the treatment. It requires a lot of skill and knowledge, as well as an ability to work with other health care professionals. I experienced this on my rotation. I spoke with doctors and nurses, gave them my input and they listened to me and respected it. For the patient to get the best care, our work must be collaborative.”
This team dynamic is certainly something Taylor has witnessed woven into the fabric of each program at MBKU. Working in groups and taking certain classes with optometry and PA students has given her a deep understanding of what they know and what they can do. “It opened my eyes to see how much we need every profession to make sure our patients push through, get well and stay well," she says.