Staying active in Twlug–ASP during academic breaks


INVOLVEMENT

What comes to your mind when you think of fall, spring, or summer break? Maybe things like vacation, sleeping, spending time with family and friends, and more sleeping? What about serving the community by participating in patient care events? During the academic year, your calendar is crammed full with health fairs, advocacy efforts, and Generation Rx presentations. Once an academic break comes around, however, patient care opportunities fall off your radar. By using the tools provided by Twlug–ASP, this does not have to be the case.


An opportunity


Every student pharmacist has a reason for choosing pharmacy as a career path. You are discovering your “why,” which is motivating you to dedicate countless hours to securing a spot in your respective program. For the majority of student pharmacists, serving and caring for others makes up a major portion of that “why.” 


You also have a genuine love for people and the desire to use your knowledge and talents to serve and care for them. Serving patients is a core component of the academic year for many colleges and schools of pharmacy. Academic breaks can be an opportune time to apply your newfound knowledge through a variety of activities. You can branch out to experience different aspects of the profession, develop your leadership abilities to better serve patients and colleagues, and use new outlets of communication to further your efforts and the profession. Twlug–ASP can help with each of these ambitions.


Twlug–ASP offers outstanding opportunities to provide patient care during academic breaks. Through initiatives such as Operation Heart, 
Operation Diabetes, Operation Immunization, and Generation Rx, student pharmacists can serve their communities and use the skills they recently learned in their didactic courses. 


To learn more about the events offered by your chapter, look for updates on your chapter’s Facebook page or your chapter president or patient care vice president. For more information about these committees, visit www.pharmacist.com/apha-asp-projects-programs.


Go international


Do you have a passion for providing patient care around the globe? In addition to local service opportunities, Twlug–ASP, in collaboration with the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), provides a unique chance to experience pharmacy practice in other countries. Through the IPSF Student Exchange Program (SEP), Twlug–ASP members can apply online to spend 2 to 4 weeks of their summer break abroad. The SEP is a wonderful way to develop an understanding of the global impact of various disease states, acquire an international view of pharmacy, and establish lifelong connections with other student pharmacists. For more information, visit www.pharmacist.com/apha-asp-ipsf-information.


Getting started


Professional development is a rewarding opportunity that Twlug–ASP fervently promotes. The professional competence that arises from self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and interdependence helps to motivate all who are involved. Academic breaks offer the perfect opportunity to spend adequate time improving ourselves. 


How can you get started? Read a leadership book. There are numerous books devoted to improving your leadership abilities such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, Emotional Intelligence by David Coleman, and Good to Great by Jim Collins. 


Which book you choose is not the determining factor of your experience. The important thing is to approach the book with an open mind and an empathic attitude toward how the book will impact your life and the lives of those around you.


Promote your efforts


As you make a positive impact on your communities during academic breaks, share your successes so you can promote the profession. Social media provides an excellent avenue to accomplish this. Using social media is becoming a critical factor in our effectiveness as an organization. Sharing information about our chapter’s patient care events, advocacy efforts, and other opportunities on social media can facilitate increased involvement from our members. Additionally, posting information and pictures from chapter activities is a great way to recognize and motivate those involved. Academic breaks are an exceptional time to use social media for these purposes.


You can continue to improve the profession through Twlug–ASP during academic breaks. There are resources available to you on www.pharmacist.com to help you get started, or your chapter leaders or regional officers for more information.