ALYSSA’S BLOG – BACK TO STUDENTS

Redfield, South Dakota
Week 1

One week in Redfield done!! Coming into this town, being originally from Brookings, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had some experience in the similar small town of Britton, SD but knew nothing about Redfield. After the first day at Randall Pharmacy, I knew I would enjoy working in this smaller community. All the people were friendly, everyone was relatively familiar with everyone else and it just felt cozy.

I tried not to look into what Redfield had to offer too much before I arrived, so travelling to the local Food Pride and Alco was an adventure. I could tell I was new in town, everyone had to take a second look at the unfamiliar face trying and failing to navigate a cart with a stubborn wheel along the aisles of the grocery store. It’s a sweet little town and I’m looking forward to further exploring the city park and the corrections center…as a guest of course!

Dr. Owens has been our main mentor so far and he’s so great to learn from. I was afraid that following an MD as a PharmD may not help me a lot, but it’s taught me a lot about collaborative medicine. We’ve seen a lot of end-of-life care in this hospital, but I think that’s such an important part of health care so it’s refreshing to see it done so well in a rural area. Looking forward to new experiences in the following weeks!! I may turn medical student yet…

Week 2
Second week in Redfield!! I got to go with a patient to Aberdeen and watch a gallbladder removal. It was really interesting—I had only seen one surgery previously. Definitely a great experience. We also shadowed Dr. Owens, Lyn and Ron in the clinic, seeing and talking to patients. We were on call a couple of days…however, both of us fell back asleep after the one call we got…oops!!! Good thing pharmacists don’t have call all the time…

I’ve really enjoyed being here, the people are all great and I’ve loved acting as a pseudo-family practitioner. Miranda and I started working on ideas for our community project. We’ve decided on doing a pre-diabetes education table at Alco one evening, as well as a medication information table in the senior citizen center over a noon hour. I’m looking forward to meeting more members of the Redfield community.

Miranda and I also fished with Dr. Owens this week. Nothing like relaxing on a lake for an evening! Looking forward to having a walleye fish fry!

Week 3
Week three in Redfield. This week we were on call for a couple evenings—we saw someone having an anaphylactic reaction to some shellfish. I really enjoyed the real-life experience of it; it’s different to see it in a patient versus reading about it in a textbook.

I also got to go with Lyn Munce, PA to the Doland clinic. This was a town of about 300 people and it has a tiny little clinic, next to the bar no less, that is open Mondays and Thursdays. It was so great to see a little town still being able to accommodate their citizens with a small clinic. We mostly saw older people coming in for their yearly physical but you could see how much they appreciated Lyn coming to their town to care for them. Definitely a new experience for me.

At the end of the week Dr. Owens sent us to meet Dr. Perry, a man in his nineties living at the local assisted living center. He graduated from medical school in the 1940’s…he had so many great stories and advice. It was wonderful to get feedback and to see the excitement that someone from older generations had for upcoming healthcare providers. It definitely gave me more hope and excitement for my future and was an experience only to be had in a smaller community.

Week 4
My four weeks in Redfield are already over…it went by so quickly! The last week we went to the Hutterite colony for a few hours. With 110 members, it is quite an operation! It was so interesting to see the way they are all set up and pretty much were self sufficient as a colony. We saw where they canned, where they cooked, where they did their laundry and where they taught their school. They also fed us a great meal of homemade chicken and mashed potatoes; nothing like homemade cooking!

We also did our community project the last week. On Tuesday we went to the senior citizen center in the morning and performed blood pressure and blood glucose screenings. All of the community members that were there were very receptive to us and I really enjoyed chatting with them. We also handed out emergency contact magnets and some medication record sheets. In the evening we went to Alco and tried to give out education on pre-diabetes. We also did blood pressure and blood glucose screenings. The people at Alco were less receptive, I think they were too busy shopping, but Miranda and I had a good time.

Sad to be done with my internship, but so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had and things I’ve learned. If I ever get an opportunity to do anything in a rural community again I’ll definitely jump at the opportunity. I’ll miss you REHPS!!