School of Pharmacy

Kylah Bowers

Preceptor of the Year 2016-2017

BowersThe University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy awarded two Preceptors of the Year for the 2016-2017 academic year. Pharmacist Kylah Bowers, who precepts students at Altitude Drug in Pinedale, Wyoming was one of the award recipients. Kylah was interviewed to understand how she earns the respect and admiration of her students, so other preceptors can gain ideas on ways to educate and motivate students while on rotation.

Kylah received her PharmD from the University of Wyoming in 2009. She worked for a chain pharmacy for two years after graduation. Kylah knew she wanted more involvement in patient care and decided to open her own pharmacy, Altitude Drug, in 2011. Kylah has been preceptoring students for six years at Altitude Drug where it has proved to be highly successful for both her students and her pharmacy.

A key objective Kylah includes in the rotation is having students be involved in both the pharmacy and the community. She understands the importance of having a well-rounded rotation curriculum where the students remain engaged and focused. Kylah provides numerous activities for students and encourages decision making and open communication within the pharmacy as well as with other healthcare providers in the community. She is respectful of each student and treats them as pharmacists. Every student who comes through her rotation knows she is there for them.

Advice Kylah would give other preceptors is to take the positive experiences they had as students during their rotations and apply those to their curriculum today. Kylah suggests finding the strengths and weaknesses of each student. She plays to the strengths of the students while addressing the weaker areas for them to grow and develop as pharmacists. Kylah also utilizes student surveys to learn how her program can be improved and the types of experiences she can offer in her rotations. Her goal is to develop pharmacists that are part of a healthcare team and that she would want to hire in her store.

Kylah encourages students to leave their comfort zone so they can be successful as practicing pharmacists. She expects the best from each student and provides the tools for them to reach their full potential. She had one student, in particular, whom she thought she may have pushed too hard on rotation. However, a year after having the student on rotation, she received a thank-you note from him and the student’s wife stopped by on the way through town to thank her for the impact she had on her husband and to let her know how much he loved his rotation with her.

Despite any challenges rotations might bring, Kylah enjoys being a preceptor. She learns so much from students, who are at their peak of their formal pharmacy education, which helps her be a better pharmacist and preceptor. Kylah stays on top of continuing education and networks with groups in her community to enhance her knowledge and skills.

Students obviously love having her as a preceptor. One of the students who nominated Kylah sums up the rotation experience with Kylah by stating, “Being in a small town, she is able to follow her patient's medication situations and know how to help. Most importantly, I was able to practice pharmacy work independently (with being double checked by her). She would have me check prescriptions and push me to look further than just the prescription I was checking. I had to look at the patient as a whole and use my drug knowledge to find errors or point out potential adverse effects. I got to conduct MTMs, preform Medicare Part D Plan consultations, and counsel on all new medications dispensed. I feel like this rotation, more than any other, prepared me to work as a pharmacist after graduation and introduced me to the kind of pharmacist I want to be.”

Great job, Kylah!


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