5 Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Can Stay Connected to the Pharmacy Profession

APRIL 11, 2018
After completing a drug information residency and serving as a pharmacy professor, I knew that the next chapter of my life would be dedicated to being a parent. Being a stay-at-home parent may not be for everyone, but it is the right path for me, and I love every second of it.

I’m still not sure why it is called stay- at-home as we are out for most of the day. We have a jam packed schedule of music class, library story time, playground fun, and swim lessons, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still find it important to stay connected to the pharmacy profession, so I would like to provide some tips to those pharmacists who are, or may be considering, becoming a stay-at-home parent.

Here are 5 ways stay-at-home parents can stay connected to the pharmacy profession:

1. Create social media accounts

Believe it or not, I was not part of LinkedIn or Twitter until I became a stay-at-home parent. I am excited to say that I have almost 500 connections on LinkedIn! These social media platforms are free and a great way to stay up-to-date with the profession.

LinkedIn allows pharmacists to connect with other pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. Those interested in going back to work, can also look for career opportunities. I generally review Twitter daily for some quick updates of what is going on in the pharmacy world and post my articles to educate colleagues. The Pharmacist Moms Group on Facebook is also a great way to stay connected to the profession, and it includes parenting advice, drug information questions, and career opportunities. 

2. Maintain your pharmacist license

It is extremely important to keep up with pharmacy license requirements, even for those who do not think they will return to work. Pharmacists go through a long pharmacy school journey, and the NAPLEX and MPJE exams to get a pharmacist license. Make sure to make the licensure payment is on time, and all continuing education (CE) requirements are completed. 

There are many ways to get CE credits online, such as through Plantsvszombies.info. I always enjoy attending CE programs at Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy in South Florida where I graduated and previously served as a professor. I have a regular pharmacy license, and a consulting license, so I need 54 hours of CE credits for each 2 year renewal period. Place reminders in a smartphone to avoid falling behind. There are many local pharmacy organizations in your state that likely offer live programs.

3. Sign up for drug information updates

I try to review drug information through the FDA and CDC websites, and PharmacyTimes.com on a daily basis, and look for new drug approvals, safety alerts, drug recalls, and vaccine updates. Pharmacists can also sign up for email alerts through these free drug information resources. Drug information questions from my family and friends keep me on my toes, and I am constantly researching new information. Being a parent has also helped me to become well versed in pediatric drug information. I invested in purchasing the Lexicomp Pediatric & Neonatal Dosage Handbook to look up dosing questions, and the CDC website has become my best friend for vaccine information.

4. Look for fun pharmacy opportunities from home.

Through my drug information experience, I have had great opportunities to serve as a contributing editor for a patient education company, review drug disposal guidelines for a public health program, and serve as a contributing author for Plantsvszombies.info, while being a stay-at-home parent. Educating pharmacists is something that I am passionate about, and I am excited to have the opportunity. If interested, I would recommend conducting an internet search, and ing companies that may offer writing opportunities. One of my future goals is to write a pharmacy book.

5. Keep your CV up-to-date.

Make sure to keep an up-to-date CV with all pharmacy related activities. Those who do a poison prevention presentation for your child’s class, for example, should make sure to document the activity on a CV. This is important for those considering part-time or full time work experiences in the future.
 
Whether a working or stay-at-home parent, pharmacists have made the right decision that works for them. I hope that these tips provide a brief glimpse into my life, and offer a way to keep others in the pharmacy loop.

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, received her PharmD degree from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Pharmacy in 2006 and completed a 2-year drug information residency. She served as a pharmacy professor at NSU’s College of Pharmacy for 6 years, managed the drug information center, and conducted medication therapy management reviews. Dr. Gershman has published research on prescription drug abuse, regulatory issues, and drug information in various scholarly journals. Additionally, she received the Sheriff’s Special Recognition Award for her collaboration with the Broward, Florida Sheriff’s Office to prevent prescription drug abuse through a drug disposal program. She has also presented at pharmacist and physician continuing education programs on topics that include medication errors, prescription drug abuse, and legal and regulatory issues. Dr. Gershman can be followed on Twitter @jgershman2
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