Published on April 21, 2020 by Sarah Waller  
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Alison Lyons Thomas, a 1998 alumna of Samford University’s McWhorter of Pharmacy has worked as a clinical pharmacist on the same unit at Northside Hospital Forsyth in Cumming, Georgia for eight years.

We are normally considered a cardiac med-surgery unit, but since March 16, 2020 we have become the COVID med-surgery unit. We have been fortunate enough to have the supplies we need, and our nurses and patient care technicians have done a beautiful job of re-focusing from cardiac care to COVID-19 patients suffering from respiratory, GI, and infectious disease issues. 

I have the honor of working alongside these caregivers to assure isolation-appropriate timing of medications, pain-staking monitoring of ADRs and patient appropriateness for all medications, most notably the highly publicized hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, Actemra (to name a few). 

Yes, it is quite tiring to work a 10-hour shift in an N95 mask all day, but I am blessed to have a fresh one provided to me each day.

I continue to have as my mantra a simple remark from a former preceptor, Beth Schenk. “It doesn’t matter how many degrees you have or how many fancy calculations you know. If you can’t get the right medication to the patient in a timely manner, the rest is meaningless.”

I look forward to getting back to normal: bedside educations, student precepting, looking at smiling faces. But for now, I will continue to resolutely represent my profession and myself with all the grace and dignity I can muster. 

McWhorter School of Pharmacy seeks to tell the stories of our alumni who are working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. To tell your story, go to our website.