The smiling face that you’ll meet at the Grace Pharmacy belongs to Jennifer Nall. She comes to Grace Health System® with nearly 15 years experience as a pharmacist in a variety of settings, from a hospital pharmacy to a retail store. Nall is a native of San Antonio. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in microbiology. After graduation, she headed to UT’s Pharmacy School, where she earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.
Nall’s education included a year of clinical training much like an internship or residency program, giving her pharmacy experience in several healthcare settings. “I did intensive care at Lackland Air Force Base. I did pediatric ICU. I did a pathology round,” says Nall.
Nall calls herself a “math and science nerd” and says her career allows her to combine her love of microbiology, physiology, and math into helping people. She says being a pharmacist is a perfect blend for her. “You get the medical side of the healthcare, interaction with the doctors, the patients, but we are not on call overnight. We are not digging our hands into somebody”.
“I have been an infusion pharmacist. I have been a hospital discharge pharmacists where I only did clinical and discharged high-risk patients, and now I am doing compounding in a retail pharmacy, which I absolutely love”.
As Grace’s pharmacist, Nall says she gets to work more as a team with a patient and their doctor. With so many specialists in one building, Nall says she can go to their office and talk with them face to face, instead of calling them, only to be put on hold.
“It is basically a collaborative agreement. That is what everyone strives for to really combine the healthcare together where you do not have any gaps and nothing slips through.” Nall says she gets to look at the patient as a whole, and not just counting pills, filling one prescription at a time.
Nall says she enjoys the close relationships with the Grace doctors and the patients. As a compounding pharmacist, she gets to talk with the patients face to face. Many patients on pain medications get to a point where the drug doesn’t work anymore, or it makes them sick. Nall can combine several medications into a cream that can be applied directly to the pain. “If something is not working, tell me which part is not working, what is being relieved, what is not, and I will change the formulation for them.”
Some of these drug combinations come with a high price, but Nall says she’s more than happy to work with a patient, their doctor, and the insurance company to make sure the patient gets the treatment they need. “If a patient is paying cash, we have the ability to negotiate with them to make it more affordable. We can change those prices. We can also discuss with the doctors on getting an alternative.”
A patient has a choice when it comes to having their prescriptions filled. Jennifer Nall says she feels fortunate every day that she’s a pharmacist. She loves talking with each and every patient who comes into the Grace Pharmacy. “I take the time with every patient I meet and to get to know them in their specific needs because medicine is dangerous. It is as helpful, as it is dangerous. I am going to take that extra step. I am going to make that call because every patient needs an advocate.”
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