Nicholas Toia, a third year doctoral student in the College of Pharmacy, participated this summer as the VALOR (VA Learning Opportunities Residency) Student Pharmacist at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno, Nev.
While there are multiple VALOR positions available throughout the country in the area of pharmacy and nursing, Nicholas served as the only VALOR Student Pharmacist for this institution. The salaried internship provided in-depth exposure to in-patient and outpatient pharmacy services provided to the regional veteran population. This included completing medication reconciliation and patient discharge counseling to veterans leaving the facility, working with Pharmacy Informaticists on the monitoring and reporting of pertinent hospital-patient data relating to pharmacy practice and working with Oncology Pharmacists researching the use and NIOSH/OSHA compliance of closed system transfer devices for hazardous drug manipulation and administration.
Nicholas also worked with the Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Pharmacoeconomics in reviewing outpatient vital signs for the evaluation of drug therapy in a disease specific subset of the local veteran population. The VA Sierra Nevada employs about 70 people in the pharmacy service, including approximately 20 Clinical Pharmacy Specialists, 10 Pharmacists, five PGY1 and three PGY2 pharmacy residents.