The Importance of Caring – My Journey into Health Care: Josh Jaeger

By Ashley Strehle Hartman, freelance writer
for Columbus Community Hospital  – Columbus, Nebraska
Published on the Columbus Community Hospital website, November 2019

Like many people in health care, Josh Jaeger, PharmD, was drawn to the field because of his desire to help people.

“The field of health care always interested me,” he said. “I have always felt the need to help others and health care gives me an opportunity to do just that.”

Jaeger pursued his health care goals by graduating from the University of Nebraska College of Pharmacy. Then his first job out of college was at the Walgreens pharmacy in Columbus where he worked for 12 years.

He became a staff pharmacist at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) five years ago.

“I spent 12 years working on the retail side of pharmacy and when the position became available here at CCH, I applied because I was ready to try something a little different and wanted a new challenge,” Jaeger said.

In his position as staff pharmacist, Jaeger’s general duties are to enter orders, prepare medications, clinically monitor patients and educate patients on new medications. But his tasks vary depending on the day.

One day, he could be working as the clinical pharmacist monitoring patient labs and going on morning rounds with the hospitalist.

The next day, he could be working as the discharge pharmacist, educating patients on new medications and yet another day, he could be the order entry pharmacist, who enters orders, checks IVs, checks Pyxis cabinet fills, and sometimes compounds IV medications, including chemotherapy.

“In any given day, I could be fulfilling any or all of those roles. The variety of jobs is what I like about this position,” he said.

As a group, the pharmacy department also spends a lot of time working behind the scenes to keep things at CCH running smoothly. For instance, Jaeger has been involved in the implementation of new technology and department staff have been involved in helping maintain various computer software programs that CCH staff use on a daily basis.

Jaeger said he has been supported in all his roles at CCH and that the hospital has also been very supportive of his continued education and training. For example, CCH offers certification classes and allows the pharmacy department to send someone to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) annual and mid-year meetings each year.

“Going to meetings like this is important as it helps us keep us up-to-date with the current changes in the field of hospital pharmacy and it also allows us to see some of the new pharmacy-related technology that is available,” Jaeger said.

He noted that this has been particularly helpful this year as the pharmacy department prepares for new hazardous drug legislation which will take effect at the end of the year.

Health care professionals are constantly adapting to new legislation, standards and technologies like these – because the health care field is always changing. But, one thing in the field always remains the same – its rewards.

“It can be a very rewarding field,” Jaeger said. “You truly do have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.”

For more information on Jaeger or CCH’s pharmacy, visit http://www.columbushosp.org.