Student Spotlight – Andre Castaneda
Hometown: Keller, TX
Andre Castaneda, a third-year student pharmacist, has a passion for helping children. As a pharmacy intern at Cook Children’s pediatric hospital, he discusses treatment plans with families and counsels them at discharge. His mentor, Dr. Hae Jin Cho, shares his passion for pediatric pharmacy and helped him discover this internship opportunity. Andre, Rho Chi Fraternity President, hopes to become residency trained and a BPS Board Certified Pediatric Pharmacy Specialist (BCPPS).
How has COVID-19 affected your position in the pharmacy?
The pandemic has certainly affected the way I interact with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals. Although some of my tasks still require face-to-face communication, such as discussing treatment and counseling families at discharge, I take proper precautions with personal protective equipment to increase safety. Everyone on our pharmacy team has really risen to the challenge to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while still providing great care to our children.
The most rewarding part about being an intern at Cook Children’s Medical Center is experiencing how all of our healthcare professions, including pharmacists, physicians, nursing, and many others, work together to help our patients. I also get to learn from the most amazing and talented team of pharmacists, and I have grown tremendously as a clinician because of them. They have shown me how pharmacists can play an extremely valuable role on any healthcare team, while also teaching me about pediatric pharmacy along the way.
What has this experience taught you about being a pharmacist?
This experience has taught me that pharmacists play a vital role in almost every aspect of patient care. I have the opportunity to work with a variety of pharmacists in different roles, which has opened my eyes to all of the career options we have as future pharmacists. Also, being able to apply what I have learned in the classroom to real-life patients has been instrumental for me in truly understanding the medications.