Functions performed by paid pharmacy interns in hospitals in New York

Nathan, Joseph P.; Schilit, Sara; Zerilli, Tina; Shah, Bupendra; Plotkin, Polina; Tykhonova, Irina
January 2011
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;1/15/2011, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p165
Academic Journal
Purpose. The types of clinical and nonclinical activities performed by paid pharmacy interns in the hospitals in New York state were studied. Methods. In November 2008, a list of hospitals in New York was obtained from the website of the New York State Department of Health. A survey was sent to each hospital's pharmacy director requesting information on hospital characteristics and whether the pharmacy department employed nongraduate pharmacy interns. For those hospitals that employed pharmacy interns, questions were asked about the number of nongraduate pharmacy interns employed, the shifts worked by interns, whether there was a minimum work-hour requirement for interns, the functions routinely performed by interns, and the percentage of interns who remained employed at the hospital upon licensure. Results. Of the 184 surveys distributed, 96 responses (52.2%) were received. The majority of hospitals had 400 beds or fewer and were teaching institutions, and 45 employed pharmacy interns. The five functions reported most frequently were answering telephone calls (91%), preparing and distributing medications (82%), compounding nonparenteral medications (69%), compounding parenteral medications (62%), and responding to drug information queries (51%). The mean ± S.D. number of clinical activities performed by interns was 2.1 ± 2.1. The most frequently reported clinical activities were responding to drug information queries (51.1%), performing clinical interventions (33.3%), and completing adverse-drug-reaction reports (31.1%). Conclusion. Hospital pharmacy departments in New York utilized paid pharmacy interns to perform a variety of functions, including clinical activities. While there appears to be recognition that interns can perform clinical activities, the mean number of such activities was relatively low.


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