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Spotlight on Geriatric APPE Rotation Site: Ottersen’s Pharmaceutical Services

Ottersen’s pharmacy is a small, independent, closed-door, long-term care pharmacy on-site at Foss Home and Village, an assisted living and skilled nursing facility in the Bitter Lake neighborhood of Seattle.

Precepted primarily by Sonya Kousoum, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, students enjoy working with the diverse geriatric population served by Ottersen’s. As Kousoum’s current PY4 student, Logan Kim explained, “the long-term care pharmacy often requires different strategies when assessing patients’ chart notes, due to its unique setting and available care options. For example, treatments may differ from first-line guideline-recommended therapy due to a patient’s preferences and wishes.”

Students at Ottersen’s are afforded a truly interprofessional experience, interacting with nurses, providers, residents, pharmacy team members, and social workers on a regular basis at Foss Home. They engage in face-to-face interactions, conversations via phone, and in written communication regularly.

A typical day for students begins with a review of patients in the building, followed by students working up any new admissions. Students also have the opportunity to visit patient rooms for things like vaccine administration, a service that grew significantly at Ottersen’s during the COVID vaccine roll-out thanks in part to the many UW School of Pharmacy learners assisting. Students and preceptors engage in regular topic discussions to orient learners to long-term care pharmacy, and prepare them for real-world pharmacy practice, discussing things like management and laws relating to this care setting, and entrepreneurship and leadership.

Ottersen’s provides students with the opportunity to engage in direct patient care in a consulting role, and they develop and provide medication therapy recommendations to providers and nurses at Foss Home. Students serve as drug information providers, answering questions from nursing staff, and they assist with insurance prior authorizations and resolution of insurance claims.

At Ottersen’s, students will learn how to contribute ideas and skills in their future practice, ultimately enhancing patient care and optimizing medication therapy.