Chance’s Blog

Back to Students 2014

Week 1 Winner, South Dakota

Monday June 23rd
We arrived to Winner, SD at approximately 11 am.  After 3 hours in the car I was ready to be there already but was also extremely nervous.  I have never lived in a town of less than 25,000 for more than a week in my life so this new opportunity was somewhat nerve racking to say the least.  When pulling up to the hospital I was confused at where the entrance was.  I called Hugh to see if he had arrived yet and where he had entered.  As I was calling him he just pulled into the parking lot.  We both couldn’t find the entrance so we just walked through the emergency entrance which happened to be the ambulance bay!  Once we arrived we were introduced to Sharon our site contact.  We were then taken to the main entrance to meet Cheri for lunch.  I was surprised to see Rose, a fellow pharmacy student in the lobby with Cheri! She was in Platte, and came along for lunch.  We went to Joie’s for lunch.  They made an amazing steak with sautéed onions.  After that we toured the town and the loft that we were staying in.  It was a lot more than I was expecting and the view from the roof is spectacular.  Our housing wasn’t ready though so we spent the night in Holiday Inn Express in town.  We hung out at the pool for an hour or so and then went to the Holiday House for supper.  After that we decided to walk to the local ice cream place, Frosty Boys, and get some dessert. The walking was a bad choice because we got eaten alive by mosquitoes, but the ice cream was worth it! Overall it was a great first day and finally being in Winner really calmed my nerves.

Tuesday, June 24th
We were introduced to the pharmacy staff today at Winner Regional Hospital.  They have two pharmacists and one technician currently working at the hospital.  They were all extremely nice.  Marla, the pharmacy manager, made us feel welcomed and helped us with our first task of checking pyxis cart fills.  After that we chatted with the other pharmacist Liza, and the technician Kristi.  We experienced our first hospital food today. They had a variety of options for both breakfast and lunch.  Around noon we cleaned the IV room hood and began preparing IV’s for patients.  After that we just shadowed the pharmacists and learned how the Winner Regional Hospital works.  We were informed that our housing wasn’t ready still so we got to spend another night at the Holiday Inn.  We went to the High School Armory which is also their gym and lifted.  We met some extremely nice people, Harvey and John.  After that we relaxed at the hotel and watched “Escape Plan.”

Wednesday, June 25th
Today Hugh and I were split up.  He went to shadow a Doctor and I was working in the pharmacy.  After checking pyxis cart fills I chatted with pharmacist Liza until about 9:30 when several patients came into the emergency room over the next couple hours.  It was also an exciting day because I got to see my first decontamination procedure happen.  It was interesting to learn how it all operated and have an in-life experience that is often only talked about in toxicology classes.  After work, we moved into the loft and I went to the gym to lift some weights and run around the track.  After finishing my workout Hugh and I went to Shopko because I thought there was a large variety of food there compared to other stores.  I never thought I would say it but I did indeed was lost in Winner, SD.  Once we finally found Shopko, I discovered I was extremely wrong and in fact Shopko was NOT, a big grocery store.  So we left and went across the street to the Sooper Dooper Market to grab some food for supper.   After buying our groceries we made it home and I made my first meal at the loft.  It was an extremely productive day.

Thursday, June 26th
Today was my first day in the clinic.  When I initially showed up the nurse mistook me for a medical resident and was about to send me in with the patient alone with no idea what I was doing!  After some explaining I was paired with Dr. Clark.  We visited several patients throughout the morning; most were physicals and nothing too extreme.  In the afternoon I was paired with a nurse practitioner, Mrs. Olson.  I assisted in a mole removal and saw how doctor’s chart compared to nurse’s.  Overall, it was an interesting day!

Friday, June 27th – Sunday, June, 29th
Friday was an extremely slow day and nothing new really happened.  On Saturday we attended a golf tournament that was also a fundraiser for the hospital.  Over 100 people showed up to golf.  We were paired with a team of Buck, Jill, and Tim.  They were extremely friendly and some of the nicest people I have ever met.  We ended up winning second flight and won some prizes so it was an overall great day!  Sunday, we went to church at Immaculate Conception parish.  The service was great and afterwards we saw a 2014 LT2 Stingray Corvette.  We talked to the owner for awhile about the car and some modifications on it.  We also saw Dr. Hedge’s doppleganger, our college of pharmacy’s dean at SDSU.  After that we relaxed and enjoyed the rest of our day!

Week 2
This week started off by us meeting our new roommate Sunday night.  His name is Chris and he is a new medical resident for Winner Regional.  Monday I was at the clinic and got to experience all sorts of interesting things from removing sutures to seasonal allergies.  On Tuesday I visited the ShopKo pharmacy.  After arriving I met the pharmacist in charge, Nelle.  She was extremely nice and very knowledgeable about the business side of running a pharmacy.  We spent most of the day learning how to bill for Medicare and Medicaid and how to do charge accounts and ordering.  It was a great experience because my knowledge of retail is very limited.  Wednesday I was with a Home Health nurse.  Starting that day I was nervous because I had no idea what to expect.  We ended up changing dressing on several wounds as well as changing wound vacuums for several patients.  We visited each patient in their home and it was cool to see a patient in their own environment instead of the typical hospital or clinic setting.  Thursday I was at Healthmart and I got to experience what it was like to fill for a long term care facility as well as gained more retail experience.  It was nice to see and compare how ShopKo and Healthmart operate differently.  We had Friday and the whole weekend off and enjoyed a great weekend of friends, family, food and fireworks!

Week 3
Monday, July 7th
We were at the Winner Regional Jail for the day.  Our day started at 6:45 am when we showed up at the front doors of the jail.  After a short wait we were given a tour of the facility and shown how they distribute medications to the inmates at the jail.  Being watched by inmates as we passed out medications made me slightly on edge but the educational experience was invaluable.  Also a doctor from the hospital has a clinic on Monday’s to address any inmate medication issues.  We got to experience that as well. After work Hugh and I went to the drive in to watch a movie!  We saw “How to Train Your Dragon 2”.  The owner was extremely friendly and was originally from Nebraska like me!

Tuesday, July 8th
I got to experience long term care.  The facility was attached to the hospital and the staff were extremely kind. I learned how medications are distributed in a long term care facility and how they handle patients that may not be the most willing to take their medications.  I also got to experience what it was like to be a nurse there and what responsibilities and rules they had to follow.

Wednesday, July 9th
I was in the operating room and followed around a CRNA.  It was interesting to see the various concoctions they make and how the science behind putting someone under and how to regulate and monitor, if it is effectively working or not.  I saw a colonoscopy as well as an endoscopy on a patient.  That night Hugh and I saw the movie “22 Jump Street”! It was a great movie and the tickets were so cheap!

Thursday, July 10th
I was at ShopKo pharmacy.  I learned a lot about billing for Medicare and Medicaid patients and got to actively participate in a lot of those activities. It was extremely beneficial to be able to gain managerial experience in case I ever decide to open up my own independent store!

Friday, July 11th
I was in the hospital ER.  I got to shadow a nurse that covers for ER for the day and responds to anything that may come in since they do not staff a nurse specifically for the ER.  The day was extremely quite but I did get to see a baby born so that was extremely interesting and a beautiful sight to behold.  Chris, Hugh and I went to the movie theater to see “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and got ice cream from Frosty Boy as well!

Saturday and Sunday were just relaxing days.  I went to the Winner Athletic Club to work out and started typing my project that is due for REHPS.

Week 4
Monday Hugh and I shadowed Dr. McNamara and Dr. Stamato.  It was an interesting day full of ultrasounds and children with cardiac issues.  Dr. Stamato was extremely nice and quizzed the FARM student as well as myself over EKG and drugs to use.  Tuesday I shadowed Dr. Mahrous.  We visited a variety of patients with cardiac issues.  Dr. Mahrous is extremely passionate about his job and so it was nice to see how he interacted with patients and how he counseled them on various issues.  That night after work Hugh, Chris, and myself went around town taking some last minute pictures that we hadn’t gotten before.  Wednesday I was in Mission and White River with Dr. Berg.  I learned a lot about pain management and how to properly treat pain.  Thursday was our last day in Winner.  Our day started early with a visit to the Bakery for some good doughnuts!  We then headed to the hospital to watch cataract surgeries till our presentation at noon.  The surgeon was friendly and it was surprising to find out that a cataract surgery only takes about half an hour!  Our presentation went well.  After saying our goodbyes I began to pack up to head back to Sioux Falls.  I am definitely going to miss Winner and the amazing people here.  Thank you for all the amazing experiences and memories!