from left: Charlotte Hambly and Penny Prime

Penny Prime originally wanted to study medicine. Charlotte Hambly initially started in dentistry.

“I was interested in the health care/patient care aspect, so I did an experience (job shadow) in pharmacy and liked it,” Hambly said.

“I did a work experience in pharmacy and really liked it. Prior to that I had no idea about what the job was,” Prime said.

Having found the pharmacy profession, both girls are attending the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University in Wales, one of the top-rated pharmacy programs in the UK. The two student pharmacists came to Spokane this summer to participate in specialty pharmacy experiences hosted by the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPPS).

International and camp rotations are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities provided through the WSU CPPS Office of Experiential Services. These unique rotations allow our student pharmacists the opportunity to experience the practice of pharmacy in diverse cultural and clinical settings.

Just as our Doctor of Pharmacy students are able to apply to participate in an elective international rotation during their fourth professional year, student pharmacists from our partnering international institutions have the opportunity to apply to come participate in professional shadowing experiences here in Spokane.

Hambly and Prime were in Spokane from July 2 through August 5. They were able to participate in or observe pharmacy practice at the WSU Drug Information Center, Sixth Avenue Pharmacy, the Providence Visiting Nurses Association (PVNA), as well as spend dedicated time learning from a variety of clinical and research faculty at the college. They also got bonus visits to the Sacred Heart Birth Place where they got to interact with Alyson Blum (WSU class of 2014) who serves as a specialty pharmacist to the birthing unit, and to the Spokane Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center where they got a tour from Cheyenne Newsome and learned about automated dispensing machines, IV preparation, and pharmacists’ role in the inpatient setting.

“It was a great opportunity we didn’t think we would get,” Prime said.

Prime is originally from East Sussex and Hambly is from Neath, South Wales. They are both part of the class of 2020 at Cardiff and are both interested in pursuing careers in hospital pharmacy.

“I am jealous of the fourth year here,” Hambly said. “Experiential is after you graduate in Wales. Here you get to try a bit of everything and get a taste for each specialty.”

That was not the only difference they noticed about pharmacy practice in the U.S.

“Here, pharmacists are used a lot more. It’s a higher career,” Hambly said. “I would say the experience has opened doors, made me realize there are more options than you’d think. The fact that you can specialize is a cool thing, it’s a career you can take anywhere. This was a very good experience.”

While they were here, the duo also had the opportunity to experience some the non-pharmacy aspects of the Greater Spokane area, including a Spokane Indians baseball game and kayaking on Priest Lake.

“Thank you to all the people who made this experience what it was! Everyone was helpful, friendly, lovely really,” Prime said.