Serving the Community
Published on 02 July 2015
Khuloud Al-Joudi’s hands were steady, but her nerves were a little shaky. She had just wiped the skin on a patient’s arm with an alcohol wipe and now the P4 student at St. Louis College of Pharmacy was poised to inject her first vaccination into a patient.
“I took a deep breath,” she says, “and I focused on my training.”
One of the most effective ways students learn how to give vaccinations is to practice on each other. They take turns injecting harmless saline into each other’s arms as part of their pharmacy coursework.
Al-Joudi’s first vaccination experience went so well that her patient wrote a letter to the pharmacy to commend her:
"The pharmacist who gave my shingles shot was excellent. She was so gentle and professional and answered a number of questions about travel immunizations. She was so wonderful--so glad she was there today!"
Her preceptor, Clark Kebodeaux, Pharm.D., BCACP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, believes this is the first time a patient has taken the time to write a customer survey about a student at his practice site.
While on this community pharmacy rotation, Al-Joudi focused on improving her patient communication skills.
“I was very happy especially since English is my second language,” she says. “When I speak to patients, I try to always use terms that everyone can understand.”
Al-Joudi worked for more than a year in an outpatient pharmacy near her home in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, before coming to the College to earn her Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Her goal is to return to her native country to become a clinical pharmacist. She is scheduled to graduate in May 2016.