28 posts categorized "Job/Career"


APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition

For every pharmacy student, it's that time of the year. The time of the year to show off what you've learned in pharmacy school so far. It's finally your time to compete against the best students at your school and the best of the best in the nation. So, what is this that I am referring to? Well, it's the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition. Let me explain.

The goal of the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition is to encourage student pharmacists in their efforts toward becoming better patient educators. The competition begins on the local level as students compete against each other to become the representative of their school. Once the local winner from each school is decided, this individual will schedule an appointment to compete on the national level at the Annual Meeting & Exposition. The national competition is divided into the preliminary round and final round. At the preliminary round, students select a simple practice scenario at random and are required to counsel a patient on the appropriate use of the drug involved. The 10 highest scoring participants are then invited to the final round. The final round involves a more complex counseling situation where the participants again select a prescription at random and are asked to counsel the patient on safe and effective drug use. In addition, the patient in the final round will display personality characteristics such as anxiousness, aggressiveness, or apathy to challenge the participants' ability to convey information in a realistic situation. The top 10 finalists in the national competition will be recognized during the APhA-ASP Awards Ceremony and will receive a prize compliments of APhA-ASP. The four top winners of the national competition will also receive cash prizes.

Go ahead and jump right in!


PT School 101

So, you've decided that you want to become a Physical Therapist. Whether you are returning to school, transferring schools, or are fresh out of high school, finding the right Physical Therapy Program is essential in your success as a future health care professional. I can't say that I'm an expert in this area (since we all know that I'm a pharmacy major), but I can say that I have a couple of friends enrolled in our Physical Therapy Program here. I figured what would be better than to grab a few of their tips on how they chose the right Physical Therapy Program and what they wished they could have done differently if they were in your shoes. Here they are:

1. Class size - The average physical therapy class has around 30 to 50 students. Depending on what school you choose to go to, the class size could be as small as 15 students or as large as up to 100 students. Robert Hand, a post baccalaureate from York College of Pennsylvania and a Physical Therapy Candidate '14, took class size into consideration when he decided to choose the Usciences Program. The average class size here is around 50 students, which is around the perfect size for team work in practice labs and is an essential skill for a Physical Therapist.

2. Direct Entry - So, what is all this direct entry talk? Here, at USciences, we offer a 6-year direct entry program for Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. What this means is that, once you are accepted into the program coming out of high school and maintain the GPA requirements, you can progress throughout the program without having to take any placement courses, reapplying, or transferring. Erica Schmidt, also a Physical Therapy Candidate '14, decided that our Physical Therapy Program was a good choice for her, because she could bypass the whole application process the second time around and could just focus on meeting the requirements to stay in the program and progress smoothly. Take advantage of this!

3. Rotations/Affiliations - This is a big aspect to really take into consideration when choosing the right PT school for you. As the last 1 or 2 years of your program start approaching, you won't stop hearing the word "rotation." Basically, near the end of your program you are sent out on 8-16 week rotations in different settings. Here, what you want to look at is does the program send you out one rotation after another for a year or do they send you out on rotation, then class, then another rotation. It's your preference, if you are a go-getter and want to test what you learned in school in the real world or ease your way into it and progressively learn more after each rotation. But, like I said, the decision is yours.

I hope this helps, and I'll end this blog with a snazzy picture of the 2014 USciences Physical Therapy Class in their white coats. Lookin' sharp!




I would suggest that students earning their Bachelor’s degree (or even all students for that matter) sit down and come up with a plan for their future.  Other people may think differently, but in my opinion, regardless of how far into your undergraduate studies you are, you ought to think about where you’re headed and what your ultimate goals are.  Nothing will put your more at ease than knowing your available options once you leave USciences.

You may envision yourself as a health professional or overseer of a big-name laboratory or even a scientist working for a government agency.  Whatever the case may be, you’re not going to get there just by thinking about it.  Establishing yourself as the professional you want to be takes some hard work in addition to the hard work you’re already putting into school.

Those students wanting to further their education at professional or graduate schools should set up a timeline.  When should you start determining fields of interest?  Are you ready to continue your education or do you need time off?  When will you take your entrance exam?  When will you study for your entrance exam?  How long do you have to fill out applications?  There are so many things to consider as you maneuver through your years at USciences.  Fortunately, you have Career Services at your fingertips as well as your academic advisor, not to mention upperclassmen who may be in the midst of the “post-USciences” process right now.

Even if you want to begin your career in a selected field right out of college, it’s not easy either.  You can get help building your resumé from Career Services and get feedback on your cover letters or personal statement from the Writing Center.  It is important to attend career fairs and most of all, no matter where you’re headed, to have a “Plan B.”

What if I don't get in?  What if I don't get any interview offers?  You need to show persistence and commitment by continually applying for jobs or re-applying to graduate-level schools that turned you away the first time.  As a current and first-time medical school applicant, it is difficult to remain optimistic during such a strenuous process.  I must admit, I did not have a full-fledged timeline or plan of action for my ultimate goal of becoming a physician.  I somewhat tackled things as they came along and soon found myself bombarded with essay tasks, application fees, and deadlines. 

Take a seat.  Think about yourself.  Where are you headed post-USciences?


College Summers - The 5 Best Ways to Spend Your Summer

Well, after what seems like the semester has flown by (and Finals kicked your butt), the first day of Summer is the most anticipated time for any college student. When at first, seemed like forever to get here, actually comes knocking at your doorstep pretty quickly. And, after the first few days of excessive amounts of sleep (to recuperate from the massive amounts of energy drinks and the lack of sleep), it's time to figure out the best way to spend your Summer before school starts back up! And, when I mean "best," I mean, the most enjoyable and productive way to meet your goals and the land the job that's right for you. Here's a few tips:

1. Get a job - Well, it goes without saying that pretty much every student fits into the stereotypical "poor college student" image. After a year long of spending money on dinners, coffees, and anything else that everyone else seems to be buying on campus, Summer is the most opportune time to save up that cash that flew out of your pocket all year. Heading home or staying at school to explore, it's an easy way to make build up your bank account for the upcoming year. Whatever you decide to do, money is pretty much money!

2. Get an internship - This is probably the most productive thing to do for any college student of any major. Not only are you applying what you learned at school, but you're actually testing out the waters to what could potentially be the career you're looking for in the future. This is also a great way to see what you take a liking for and especially what you don't think is for you. As alot of my friends did (being this is their last summer as a college student), why not take an internship somewhere new...try out NYC, Philly, or even somewhere a couple thousand miles away. But remember, too, that a "great" internship can mean lots of different things: good pay, good for your resume, good for the skills you can bring back to campus in the fall!

3. Volunteer - As a perspective college student, I'm sure you know all about volunteering. I'm pretty sure all the guidance counselers and teachers preach to you saying that you need all this volunteer work to put on your resume. Well, I hate to break it to you...but it's true. Not only do colleges look at this stuff, but alot of jobs that you'll be applying for are pretty much going to look at it too. So, why not get involved, whether it be at home or at school. And, we all know that everyone's arms are pretty wide open to volunteers.

4. Do research or take some extra classes - A handful of students at our school take the advantage of taking a summer course over the summer to lighten the load of their coursework for the schoolwork. It's not for everybody, and no, if you don't take a summer course, you'll definitely still be able to manage you work during the school year. But, it doesn't hurt putting in the extra effort to cut your summer a little short and taking a class or two. And, if classes aren't your thing, research is also a great way to find out what areas your interested in, whether it be working with cancer cells, or interviewing Heart Failure patients, this is a great way to build a relationship with your professor and find out what you love doing at the same time.

5. Travel - Ah, saving the best for last! As a huge advocate for traveling, this is the best time to travel as much as possible. Being in the college is the last step before entering the real world of paying bills, working, and other priorities. So, having 3 months of summer is the best time to see as much as possible (even if that means spending as least as possible). Grab a group of friends, a family member or two, or just traveling by yourself (props to you), where ever you go, traveling shapes who you are as a person. On top of being a fantastic journey, traveling can also bring you alot of insight on what you want to do with your life (no matter what your parents might think!).


Preparing for Real Life

A very exciting thing happened to me last week while on fieldwork. I got a call from a job recruiter who wanted to discuss options for me after I graduate next summer. During times where it is difficult for a lot of people to find jobs, it's great to start planning early. The best part is that this wasn't my first time talking to a rehab recruiter; I'm already having options for my future without even looking. Being from USciences carries the reputation that I'm well-prepared to start working as soon as I graduate.

I'm keeping track of the phone numbers and the benefits that each job offers. Each month between now and graduation, I plan to look into more job possibilities. USciences has a lot to offer students when it comes to preparing to the future. Two things that I'm looking forward to this fall are the fall career fair as well as a workshop on resumes.


First Week of Fifth Year

This week was my first week at my level II fieldwork. After four days, I have learned that this is going to be an even greater experience than I anticipated. I am learning to really appreciate the profession that I'm going to be a part of in just one short year. I've gotten chances to interact with clients and their family members so quickly and I'm gaining responsibilities each day. I've already gain greater confidence in myself. When asked a question about things that written are in charts, I knew what they are and when asked how I should do something based on a particular muscle, I knew what things I should do. It's exciting to prepare for each day. I'm learning how to take information I've noted during the day to then connect it to notes and books that I have from school. I look forward to learning and experiencing a lot more to share through out the summer.


Home Runs for Heart

I can't say it enough, but there are so many opportunities available for every student of every major at this school. However, alot of students don't realize that these opportunities are at their fingertips, just an email away. Becoming a member of APhA-ASP, or any other organization as a matter of fact, really has a ton of benefits that you might not realize, until you actually start to become involved in the organization, and let me tell you, I know this from experience. I used to be a "member" but not really an active member. So, I took the intiative to turn the tables, and last week I planned my very first event as Patient Care Coordinator of Operation Heart. In case I lost you in the long title, basically, APhA is broken down into groups in which the organization sees is essential in the career of a pharmacist. So, we have our Operation Diabetes, Operation Immunization, Operation Heart...you kind of catch my drift. Each organization creates events and opportunities for students to volunteer their services specifically towards one area. So, if you're a part of Operation Diabetes, you might volunteer one weekend to test student's blood sugar levels.

As the new leader for Operation Heart, I couldn't have been any more nervous about my first event. What the previous Operation Heart coordinator decided would be a great way to break the ice of my new position was to hold a blood pressure screening at the American Heart Assoication's 14th Annual Richie Ashburn Memorial Home Runs for Heart Derby Contest. "Home Run For Heart made its debut in 1997, when Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn suddenly succumbed to heart disease. In 2009, Philadelphians also lost long time Phillies announcer Harry Kalas to heart disease. This event was designed to give ordinary citizens the chance to live out their major league dreams." Having the opportunity to have your blood pressure screened, especially at a public event, is an easy and convenient way for the public to be educated about their health. As future healthcare professionals, the event was a great way to see how pharmacists can share their knowledge and impact the public in a positive light. This opportunity was a rewarding experience for not only myself, but also the committee members that came along. And...why not get a free tour of the Phillies Stadium while we're at it?


Finals Rush to Fieldwork

Tomorrow is the end of finals week here at the University of the Sciences. Since tomorrow marks the end of my fourth year here at this school, it's a very happy thought. Tomorrow means that I have only one year left until graduation, only three semesters to get through.The final year of school for an occupational therapy major is a very exciting, but kind of scary, thing.

Fifth year means level two fieldwork assignments and a lot of studying for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. In just a few short weeks I'll begin my first Level II fieldwork. This is the big experience school has been preparing me for these past few years. During this experience I'll be at a setting five days a week and I'll be interacting with the clients and will be phased into implementing treatments and interventions.

I'm very excited to begin to integrate everything that I have learned into actual practice. I know that I have the skills and the knowledge to be successful out on fieldwork thanks to the great classes I've had up to the end of my fourth year.


Minors of Study

Getting into college is one thing, choosing a major is another.  Some students who want to further develop their academic backgrounds might even choose a minor.  Determining a minor of study that suits you best requires a little research and a little thought.  There is no real "criteria" for choosing a minor, but there are a few things to consider.  If you have the room in your schedule and can dedicate enough time to a minor, definitely pick one!  There are minors that may enhance your studies in your major or there may be minors that are just plain interesting.  There can never be a downfall to declaring a minor; doing so will expand your knowledge base and might even heighten your chances of getting into a graduate or professional program.

Over a year ago, I declared the forensic science minor.  I chose that minor because of its similarities to my major (Pharmacology and Toxicology) as well as its appeal.  I have taken science classes in forensics ranging from anthropology to pathology, as well as criminology.  It does help to know that some of my classes in my major curriculum "rollover" into the minor, this way I can use a single course to fulfill two requirements at once (i.e. Microbiology or Toxicology).

In order to inquire about and to declare a minor, it would be best to talk with the chair of the Department under which the minor falls.  If you are a little hesitant about declaring a minor, you can always take a course or two required of your selected minor and make a decision based on your performance in those courses (as well as your interest).  Also, take note that come graduation, your minor of study will be recognized on your transcript.  Click here for a list of available minors at USciences.


Freshman, or First-Year?

By now, I'm sure every student on campus has been conditioned to use terms like "second-year" or "fifth-year" when referring to themselves or classmates.  USciences has a variety of programs of study that extend past the common, four-year Bachelor's degree, such as Doctor of Occupational Therapy (5 years), Doctor of Physical Therapy (6 years), and the most "popular" Doctor of Pharmacy (6 years).  Programs like these have almost obliterated the usage of the class ranking system we were accustomed to using back in high school.

Though students of OT, PT, and Pharmacy are open to continuing their education after graduation, there really is no necessity to do so.  However, a student like me who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree might want to consider going for higher-than-higher education.

What can be higher than "higher education"?  Professional and graduate programs exist all across the country and are great alternatives for students who wish to earn a more advanced degree.  Nearly all professional schools require a Bachelor's degree in order to be accepted.  Schools of dentistry, optometry, and law are a few types of professional schools out there, as well as schools of veterinary medicine and podiatry.  I, for one, am going to be applying to medical school.  Though some applicants are likely to be Bachelor of Arts recipients, I personally think I will have an edge having earned my Bachelor of Science...from a science school.

If you are a prospective college student thinking way past your college years and already have a desire to attend a "scienced-based" professional or graduate program, consider a major where your undergraduate years will be well-spent in the sciences.  In my opinion, having extensive preparation in the biological and physical sciences will help pave the road to any career in science.

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