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WSU Preceptors of the Year nominees: Will Grooms and Catherine Zhang

Dec 10, 2021, 10:00 AM
Congratulations Will Grooms and Catherine Zhang on your nominations for Washington State University Preceptors of the Year!

Pharmacy students from across the state are gaining high-quality, real world experience right here at Skagit Regional Health as a result of our partnerships with both University of Washington and Washington State University.

Will Grooms, PharmD and Catherine Zhang, PharmD, pharmacists at Skagit Valley Hospital, have been working with students as preceptors for the Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The job of a preceptor in this program is to guide and mentor students while offering a real-world experience of a career in Pharmacy.

Will Grooms and Catherine Zhang

“When I started as the Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator in 2016, one of the goals that I had for our department was to start having student pharmacists in our department in order to help student development as well as the professional development of our pharmacists,” said Grooms, Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator for Skagit Valley Hospital.

The Skagit Valley Hospital pharmacy has been a part of the preceptor program at WSU since 2017. Grooms and Zhang both have been motivated to help students turn the book knowledge they develop in school into hands-on practice in a real pharmacy.

“I firmly believe that precepting and teaching allows me to share useful clinical lessons and skills, enhance my own professional growth and truly makes a difference in the future of pharmacy practice,” said Zhang, who has been working as one of the main preceptors for the Internal Medicine rotation since February of 2020. “As a main preceptor, my job entails finding out each student’s prior pharmacy experiences and interest/future plans after graduation, and then tailoring my rotational schedule and planned learning activities to maximize the student’s learning experience and chance at succeeding in their future career goals.”

Grooms and Zhang see great value in this program – for the students but also for themselves and how it helps them develop professionally. And for their students, the feeling is mutual - their students’ nominations for WSU Preceptors of the Year is proof that their students have also valued their experience with Skagit Valley Hospital Pharmacy.

“The Preceptor of the Year nominations are a great honor because it is a student-pharmacist-nominated award,” explained Grooms. “If a student evaluates a preceptor highly in all areas for the rotation, the student has the ability to nominate the preceptor for Preceptor of the Year. For the 2020-2021 school year, there were 183 pharmacists nominated for Preceptor of the Year for WSU. Catherine and I were honored to be two of the nominees.”

Both Grooms and Zhang describe their nominations as a great honor. They believe they have created a quality program for students and are thrilled to see their efforts have been recognized and validated. But knowing they are positively impacting the future of pharmacy has been the biggest reward.

“One of the most satisfying parts of being a preceptor is seeing the knowledge ‘click’ for students,” said Zhang. “I remember one of my students last year being timid about making recommendations in the beginning of a rotation, so during one of our discussions I gave her recommendations to the attending physician in front of her. Seeing her recommendation was accepted right away, my student seemed very satisfied afterwards and became more confident. At the end of the rotation, she successfully delivered many accepted recommendations and built good rapport with the other healthcare team members.”

Zhang was able to create a space for her student to apply knowledge from the classroom and gave her an opportunity to put it into real practice – it was an important step to help this student grow and thrive.

“We have the opportunity to show (students) that they are vital members of the healthcare team and their clinical skills are useful in pharmacy practice,” said Grooms. “A lot of people and even some student pharmacists have the mistaken thought that pharmacists are just ‘pill-counters,’ but we have the opportunity to show them that pharmacists and pharmacy practice can be much more than that.”

Congratulations Will Grooms and Catherine Zhang on your nominations for Washington State University Preceptors of the Year!

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Last post : 05/27/2022

WSU Preceptors of the Year nominees: Will Grooms and Catherine Zhang

Dec 10, 2021, 10:00 AM
Congratulations Will Grooms and Catherine Zhang on your nominations for Washington State University Preceptors of the Year!

Pharmacy students from across the state are gaining high-quality, real world experience right here at Skagit Regional Health as a result of our partnerships with both University of Washington and Washington State University.

Will Grooms, PharmD and Catherine Zhang, PharmD, pharmacists at Skagit Valley Hospital, have been working with students as preceptors for the Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The job of a preceptor in this program is to guide and mentor students while offering a real-world experience of a career in Pharmacy.

Will Grooms and Catherine Zhang

“When I started as the Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator in 2016, one of the goals that I had for our department was to start having student pharmacists in our department in order to help student development as well as the professional development of our pharmacists,” said Grooms, Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator for Skagit Valley Hospital.

The Skagit Valley Hospital pharmacy has been a part of the preceptor program at WSU since 2017. Grooms and Zhang both have been motivated to help students turn the book knowledge they develop in school into hands-on practice in a real pharmacy.

“I firmly believe that precepting and teaching allows me to share useful clinical lessons and skills, enhance my own professional growth and truly makes a difference in the future of pharmacy practice,” said Zhang, who has been working as one of the main preceptors for the Internal Medicine rotation since February of 2020. “As a main preceptor, my job entails finding out each student’s prior pharmacy experiences and interest/future plans after graduation, and then tailoring my rotational schedule and planned learning activities to maximize the student’s learning experience and chance at succeeding in their future career goals.”

Grooms and Zhang see great value in this program – for the students but also for themselves and how it helps them develop professionally. And for their students, the feeling is mutual - their students’ nominations for WSU Preceptors of the Year is proof that their students have also valued their experience with Skagit Valley Hospital Pharmacy.

“The Preceptor of the Year nominations are a great honor because it is a student-pharmacist-nominated award,” explained Grooms. “If a student evaluates a preceptor highly in all areas for the rotation, the student has the ability to nominate the preceptor for Preceptor of the Year. For the 2020-2021 school year, there were 183 pharmacists nominated for Preceptor of the Year for WSU. Catherine and I were honored to be two of the nominees.”

Both Grooms and Zhang describe their nominations as a great honor. They believe they have created a quality program for students and are thrilled to see their efforts have been recognized and validated. But knowing they are positively impacting the future of pharmacy has been the biggest reward.

“One of the most satisfying parts of being a preceptor is seeing the knowledge ‘click’ for students,” said Zhang. “I remember one of my students last year being timid about making recommendations in the beginning of a rotation, so during one of our discussions I gave her recommendations to the attending physician in front of her. Seeing her recommendation was accepted right away, my student seemed very satisfied afterwards and became more confident. At the end of the rotation, she successfully delivered many accepted recommendations and built good rapport with the other healthcare team members.”

Zhang was able to create a space for her student to apply knowledge from the classroom and gave her an opportunity to put it into real practice – it was an important step to help this student grow and thrive.

“We have the opportunity to show (students) that they are vital members of the healthcare team and their clinical skills are useful in pharmacy practice,” said Grooms. “A lot of people and even some student pharmacists have the mistaken thought that pharmacists are just ‘pill-counters,’ but we have the opportunity to show them that pharmacists and pharmacy practice can be much more than that.”

Congratulations Will Grooms and Catherine Zhang on your nominations for Washington State University Preceptors of the Year!