By Shanee Patel
During the summer of 2020, we were living in the complete unknown with COVID-19 quarantine upon us. With nothing much to do except work in the pharmacy, I was always looking to be involved with something new. In May of that summer, Kelsey Schmuhl, PharmD had reached out to my classmates and me in the BSPS program to see if we would be interested in becoming Generation Rx Ambassadors. This email immediately caught my attention because I was aware of Generation Rx and the impact the program makes in teaching others about safe medication practices. Throughout my time at Ohio State, I joined many clubs and programs that have helped further my education on various medication safety topics. When the opportunity came for me to share important information regarding drug misuse prevention with other people, I was instantly on board.
In order to become an Ambassador, I completed many online modules through a training program at Ohio State. These included an overview of Generation Rx, medication safety principles, and implementing a Generation Rx program. Once the modules were completed, I received an official certificate.
Now that I had completed the training modules, I thought to myself: now what? I knew I wanted to share these messages with others, I did not know how to begin. In the fall semester of 2020, I scheduled an online meeting with Dr. Schmuhl. She instructed me on how to navigate the Generation Rx website, and pointed out that there are already resources created to share with high school or college students! That same day, I sent an introductory letter to one of my former teachers at Pickerington High School North. This communication is how I began to implement a Generation Rx program in my community.
Between exam/class schedules and COVID-19 restrictions, finding the perfect date to present my Generation Rx program to the high schoolers took several weeks to plan. Finally, a date was scheduled, and I was actually able to go in-person to the high school to present. Generation Rx has all the presentations and activities already created, so it was very convenient to select what I wanted to present from a menu of options. I decided to present the Medication Safety for Teens and Champions of Rx Trivia Game to the students. On April 16th, almost a year after becoming a Generation Rx Ambassador, I finally put my new skills to the test. I shared the information with three different classes that day, and all of the students participated. It was really interesting hearing what they had to say about the different topics and how they reacted to every slide I shared.
Overall, I am very happy I decided to become a Generation Rx Ambassador. It is very rewarding sharing medication safety principles with young adults and seeing them put the new information to good use. In the future, I want to implement more Generation Rx programs at Pickerington High School North, and I would also love to branch out to organizations associated with Ohio State.
About the Author:
Shanee Patel is an undergraduate pharmacy student at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy in Columbus, Ohio. She will be starting pharmacy school this fall with the Class of 2025.