AMBERS BLOG – BACK TO STUDENTS

Wagner, South Dakota
Week 1

In just five days I have already seen a lot at Wagner Community Memorial Hospital and Clinic. I spent a lot of time in the med room learning about the Omnicell machine and helping a pharmacist and her sister, also a pharmacy student from SDSU, inventory all of the medications in the hospital. I was fortunate enough to sit in with a few patients receiving joint injections into their knees and shoulder. One of my favorite events from the past week was being able to accompany a home health nurse to see one of her patients. This man was the highlight of my day because he was so happy to see Mikaela and me. He told us that our visit made him so happy and he was so grateful that we came. Lastly, Mikaela and I were able to get everything ready for our community project which will be held on the 12th of July. I am excited to see what the next three weeks have to offer.

Week 2
Monday, the 2nd, was a very busy day around here. We had a severe cardiac patient that was having chest pains and he was having ventricular tachycardia off and on. Ventricular tachycardia is a very serious concern because it is not a life sustainable rhythm. The doctor used eEmergency and was able to speak with a cardiologist from Avera in Sioux Falls. Additionally, with eEmergency, there is a camera so the doctor in Sioux Falls is able to see the condition of the patient rather than just trying to picture it from the description from our doctor. The decision was to fly him to the Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls so he could have the best care. Also on Monday, we had a patient come in and she was quite ill. She came in a week prior with a UTI (urinary tract infection) and the doctor prescribed her antibiotics. The patient did not go pick up her antibiotics, thus her infection got much worse and spread throughout her body because she did not treat it a week ago. The rest of the week was pretty quiet so I helped Mark, RN, with pharmacy inventory and adding products to our formulary that were missing.

Week 3
This past week was pretty slow in the hospital and clinic but I was kept busy with community events. As you know, we attended the Rotary lunch. Sherri took us to Yankton for the “Intruder Response and Awareness in the Healthcare Facility” course. This course was quite interesting and it opened my eyes to a lot of things that I was not aware of. For example, most healthcare facilities have a “lockdown” procedure if anything bad were to happen but almost all facilities do not have a back-up plan if the “lockdown” fails. Mikaela and I had our community event which was a medication and diabetic supplies take back event at the police station. Unfortunately, we had only four people come in. The good news is that the police station is going to continue having a box for medications and sharps containers for diabetic supplies. Even though the actual event was not as successful as we would have wanted, we made a positive impact on this community and provided this service permanently! Lastly, Mikaela and I met the runners of the World Harmony Run. These nine people run for four months across the nation to promote world peace. They stop in towns along the way and explain the World Harmony Run to community members. It was an excellent experience and an honor to meet these devoted people.

Week 4
This week I gave a presentation about safety to 10 teenage babysitters. The lesson consisted of personal safety, how/when to answer the phone and the door, and fire safety. Mikaela and I had our presentation and I think it went very well and we also received lots of compliments. Lastly, today I am going to be helping Mark with the pharmacy formulary. Last week I forgot to mention a patient scenario that was interesting. A patient came in with complaints of bumps on her head and she was aching. The CNP was going to prescribe an antibiotic because she thought it was an infection. Thankfully, the patient brought in her broken glucometer and the nurse found a bed bug in the case. The bumps were not due to an infection but they were bed bug bites! Because the patient lives in the Native American housing, the CNP called the housing’s head office to explain the situation. She told them that this patient’s house needed to be exterminated immediately and she needs somewhere else to stay temporarily. This situation really surprised me because the patient did not have to worry about anything; the CNP and nurse took care of everything! Back home, I feel this type of “service” to patients is rarely, if ever, seen. The physician would have explained the problem and suggested he or she get an exterminator and then move along with his or her day. In rural communities, I have seen personally, on more than one occasion, that the providers take extra steps to ensure patient care. They not only worry about the visit while the patient is here, but also what they can do to help when the patient returns home. I respect and admire that!!!