What does the St. Jude Pharmaceutical Services do?
Medicines are a big part of treatment for most St. Jude patients. Chances are your child will need complex and high risk medicines and might need to take many medicines at one time. St. Jude pharmacists work with you and the entire health care team to make sure your child’s medicines are right!
Pharmaceutical Services staff members carefully check and prepare all of your child’s medicines. Pharmacists also are actively involved in helping your child get the best care possible at St. Jude.
Here are some examples of what St. Jude pharmacists do every day to make sure your child’s medicines are right:
- A pharmacist reviews every medicine order, checking for:
- correct drug chosen,
- correct drug dose,
- possible interactions with other drugs your child is taking, and
- drug studies, to be sure the orders are exactly what is specified in drug study protocols.
- A pharmacist reviews the results of all drug level tests and works with the doctors to make sure the right changes in drug dose are made. You and your child may have a planned visit with a pharmacist either before or after a drug level test to talk about the results.
- Pharmacists help patients maintain good nutrition when they are not able to eat enough food. Pharmacists help manage total parenteral nutrition (TPN). TPN is a type of feeding given directly into the vein.
- Pharmacists plan home IV therapy with the doctor, so patients can spend less time in the hospital.
- Pharmacists are part of the St. Jude research team. They make sure that new and experimental medicines are given in the safest way possible
- Pharmacists review how medicines are used in all St. Jude patients to improve how medicines are used in the entire hospital and working to be sure that the use of medicines is as safe and effective as possible.
Working with your St. Jude pharmacist
A pharmacist is assigned to each patient care area (clinics and inpatient units). You should expect to meet and talk with a pharmacist if you are admitted to the hospital for care. If, at any time, you have questions or concerns about your child’s medicines, please ask to speak with the pharmacist. You also can talk to a pharmacist if you stop by the Outpatient Pharmacy on the Patient Care Center first floor (just behind the registration desks). The Outpatient Pharmacy is the main place where you will pick up your child’s take home medicines.
Your role in helping your child use medicines safely
Parents and your child’s other caregivers play a crucial role in making sure your child uses medicines the right way. You need to know as much as you can about your child’s medicines. This will help you understand your child’s care and ensure that you know how to give your child’s medicines correctly when your child is not in the hospital. Here are some tips:
- You should receive details about every drug your child is given. St. Jude pharmacists have prepared Patient Medication sheets on all drugs that are commonly used by St. Jude patients.
- Learn the names of each medicine your child takes and what they look like, so you are able to identify them.
- Keep a complete and up-to-date list of your child’s medicines. The list should include details such as the name of the medicine, the reason it is being used, the current dose, and how often it is given.
- Use tools like pillboxes, calendars, and alarms to help you keep track of your child’s medicines.
- Understand what you are to do if your child misses a dose of medicine.
Working together with pharmacists and other St. Jude staff you can help us make sure your child’s medicines work right and cause the least possible side effects.
- Pharmacy (PCC first floor) – Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m–6 p.m. After 6 p.m. you may pick up outpatient medicines by ringing the bell beside the Pharmacy pick-up windows. After 11 p.m. you will need to ring the bell and then pick up medicines in the pharmacy counseling room right next to the pick-up windows.
- Kmart St. Jude Life Center Pharmacy –Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m–5 p.m. (for patients treated in the center) To pick-up prescriptions after 5 p.m., you will need to go to the Pharmacy located in the Patient Care Center, first floor.
Remember: The St. Jude Pharmacy is only for St. Jude patients. If you (parent) are taking prescription medicines, remember to bring an extra supply on your trip to St. Jude just in case your stay becomes longer than expected. St. Jude cannot provide medicines for other family members.