Reflections on Residency & Learning

Toxicology Reflection

Another week bites the dust! Kind of surreal to think that residency is only a few more months.

My learning objectives for this week were to:

  • Describe the role of pharmacists at DPIC in terms of supporting the general public as well as others HCPs
    • With both didactic teaching from the lovely pharmacists Ray and Deb, as well as listening into the poison hotline phone calls I gained an appreciation for the role of the drug & poison info centre pharmacists.
    • The pharmacists (and nurses) provided advice to both the general public and health care professionals. The cases were as varied as you can imagine – from a baby licking some nail polish remover to an opioid and cocaine overdose. Very interesting stuff to hear. It was useful to see what information the team here is able to access, and also how they triage and work up the phone calls they receive.
  • Describe the management and monitoring of common overdoses (i.e. acetaminophen, salicylates, iron, opioids, stimulants)
    • Lots of didactic teaching on all of that (and some). Very interesting cases were presented and we worked through our systematic approach to work them up.
  • Evaluate the potential severity of a toxic exposure
    • I felt like with the approach taught to us (stabilization, history, diagnosis, GI decontamination, enhanced elimination, antidotes, disposition) I was able to assess what steps needed to take place to evalute the severity of a toxic exposure.
  • Describe reference resources available to retrieve toxicologic information
    • The DPIC manual is the holy grail as far as I am concerned. However some other great resources include: micromedex, TOXINZ, Extrip, the poison review, life in the fast lane.
    • Some resources available online through UBC that are great for tox info include: clinical toxicology, Rosen’s emergency medicine, and poison & drug overdose

All in all, this was a really enjoyable and educational week! I was surprised at how much I ended up learning at the end of this short week.

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