Learning Experiences

Required Core Rotations (1 month each):

Orientation and Training

Residents will be oriented to the Backus Hospital pharmacy, complete training in various inpatient and outpatient pharmacist roles, select projects and rotations for the year and discuss goals and interests of the resident.

Ambulatory Care

The Ambulatory Care learning experience will enhance residents’ knowledge in providing pharmaceutical care to ambulatory care patients in anticoagulation, endocrine, COPD rehabilitation, heart failure and/or rheumatology. It will also build upon the Longitudinal Anticoagulation Clinic experience by providing continuation of patient care, including home draw INR warfarin patient follow-up, peri-procedural anticoagulation management and medication therapy management and patient counseling. 

Critical Care

The Critical Care learning experience will develop the residents pharmacotherapeutic skills required for the provision of care to critically ill patients. The Backus Hospital critical care unit is a 12-bed unit, with a mixed medical and surgical patient population. The resident will be a member of the CCU team and will be responsible for ensuring safe and effective medication use for our critically ill patients.

Emergency Medicine

Backus Hospital Emergency Care & Trauma Center is a 42-bed Emergency Department (ED) that encompasses an adult ED (Acute 3) and Pediatric ED. Pharmacy also provides support to the Plainfield Emergency Care Center. The Emergency Medicine learning experience will provide the resident the opportunity to ensure safe and effective medication use for patients who are in need of emergency care. Residents will design and manage medication treatment for patients in a variety of emergency medicine settings such as cardiac arrest, pulmonary embolism, stroke, and trauma.

Infectious Diseases

The infectious diseases (ID) learning experience will enhance the resident's knowledge base in antimicrobial stewardship activities (i.e. antimicrobial therapy de-escalation or discontinuation, IV to PO conversions, specific antimicrobial targets) and pharmacokinetic dosing of vancomycin and aminoglycosides. The resident will develop pharmacotherapeutic skills required for the provision of care to patients with various infectious diseases. The resident will also have opportunities to round with the ID Consult Service, is a clinical rounding service that includes an ID provider and a pharmacist.

Medication Management

The Medication Management learning experience includes resident participation in multidisciplinary patient care rounds, reviewing and monitoring patients on anticoagulation therapy, providing patient education across transitions of care with emphasis on education of high-risk patients (COPD, heart failure, patients on anticoagulants) and resolving medication related issues.


The Oncology learning experience is designed to allow the resident to experience managing oncology patients requiring chemotherapy regimens. Knowledge of primary treatments, supportive care, and management of complications will be emphasized. The resident will focus on oncologic processes and related pharmacotherapies. 

Medication Safety

The Medication Safety learning experience fosters understanding of development, implementation and improvement of safe medication practices throughout the organization and/or Health System. Routine responsibilities include medication safety reviews, reporting, system and process evaluation, formulation of recommendations and/or initiatives and monitoring of activities related to medication safety and quality.

Required Longitudinal Experiences (10 months each):

Ambulatory Clinic

This learning experience will enhance the resident’s knowledge in managing and monitoring anticoagulation therapies. Pharmacy residents will provide collaborative drug therapy management (CDTM) at the Backus Hospital Ambulatory Anticoagulation Clinic for patients on warfarin (average of 20 patients per day). Routine responsibilities include monitoring point of care INR, modifying dosing regiments/plans, ordering laboratory tests, and providing patient education. The resident will provide patient care 1 day every other week as part of the longitudinal experience.

Operations and Staffing

The pharmacy resident will build a foundation of essential pharmacist skills, including reviewing and dispensing medication orders using electronic health record (i.e. EPIC), performing final checks on medications (including compounded sterile and non-sterile preparations), and assisting with drug information and medication related-issues. The resident will be scheduled to work an average of every 3rd weekend, one evening every other week and one major and one minor holiday. The resident will also assist with additional staffing throughout the residency year based on departmental needs.


The pharmacy resident will complete an IRB approved research project throughout the residency year and during a specified research month. The project will be presented as a poster at American Society of Health-System Pharmacist Midyear Clinical Meeting and as a platform presentation at a Regional residency conference. Residents will also write a manuscript suitable for publication.

Teaching and Learning

Pharmacy residents will earn a Teaching and Learning certificate through the University of Connecticut and present a Continuing Education presentation for Hartford Healthcare pharmacists and technicians. Other activities include precepting pharmacy students, providing journal clubs, in-services and case presentations.

Elective Experiences:

The resident will complete two elective learning experiences during their residency year, chosen based upon the resident’s interests and preceptor availability. Elective experiences may be available in areas such as: General Medicine, Medication Management II/Transitions of Care, Critical Care II, Psychiatry, and others. At least one elective learning experience will be completed at Backus Hospital.

PGY1 residents will be active participants in safety huddles, committees and project work, participating in quality improvement initiatives. PGY1 residents will complete a teaching certificate program through the University of Connecticut, and be involved in preceptor activities.

Pharmacy Residency Contact Information

  • Katarzyna Szablowski, PharmD, BCP
    Pharmacy Professional Development Coordinator, Interim Residency Program Director
    326 Washington Street
    Norwich, CT 06360
    Email: katarzyna.szablowski@hhchealth.org