Week 1 Platte, South Dakota
My first week in Platte has been really great. I drove down a day early and got settled into my host JoNell’s home. She has been so kind to me this whole time, and it is very likely I’ll put on a few pounds courtesy of her baked goods. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her these past few days.
On my first official day, my site coordinator Tera gave me a tour of the hospital and introduced me to some of the people who work there. Tera, Cheri, and I all went to Shorty’s for lunch, which was delicious.
On Wednesday, I spent the morning in the hospital’s lab. I got to check out all the neat equipment they have, look at some blood slides, and found out how the micro ID and susceptibility machine works. I was also able to witness some patients’ blood being drawn for testing. In the afternoon, I shadowed Dr. Bentz at the clinic. As soon as he walked in and I saw his bow tie, I knew we would get along. He had a busy afternoon schedule, so I was able to accompany him as he examined patients. I was privileged to get to chat with some of the patients and listen to their stories. It was a pretty great day.
Thursday I was able to work at Hoffman Drug with Mary. She is a graduate of the SDSU College of Pharmacy, so we had a good time trading stories. I had a lot of fun helping out. I even got to do some compounding! I really enjoyed my time there.
On Friday, I got to experience hospital pharmacy with Rich. He answered all my questions about how medications are stored, distributed, and administered at the hospital. I got to help fill the Omnicell machine, and then I was able to help do inventory. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.
Overall, this past week has been wonderful. Everywhere I’ve gone, the feeling of community in Platte is so apparent and so comforting. I’m truly blessed to be here. This week has been a great start to my experience, and I’m excited to see what else is in store for me!
I spent most of this week shadowing in the clinic. It was very interesting to follow doctors, PA’s, and nurses as they cared for patients. The chief complaints ranged from plugged up ears to a saw-wounded thumb. It was especially interesting for me as a pharmacy student to see how the providers decided which medication, if any, they would prescribe. It was also really great getting to speak with the patients and learn a little about their lives here in the Platte area.
This week I also got to spend some time in Radiology learning about their Planet Heart program. Planet Heart allows community members to get a comprehensive work up that includes a CT calcium score, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, carotid artery, and peripheral artery disease screenings. I was able to help with the screenings and discuss results and lifestyle modification with some of the participants. I think that Planet Heart is such an amazing resource that members of the community have available to them; it was really cool to see.
One of the most enjoyable parts of my week was when Kelsey and Kristin, REHPS students from Wagner, came down to Platte. It was great seeing my BFF Kelsey again, and it was awesome to get to know Kristin. We went out to dinner and afterwards we went to the park and shamelessly played on the playground amongst the children of the community. We all had a lot of fun, but most impressively, Kelsey was able to conquer her fear of slides.
I am happy to have enjoyed another wonderful week in Platte and look forward to continuing my experience.
Week three was pretty fun. On Monday I was with Physical Therapy in the morning and Radiology in the afternoon. Hanging out in PT was interesting for me, because it is pretty far outside the pharmacy curriculum. I got to see a few different shoulder injuries, and learned about some of the methods used to treat them. In Radiology, I got to see x-rays, mammograms, Planet Heart screenings, and more. I was impressed by all the tests and equipment they have available in such a small town.
On Tuesday, I spent another day at Hoffman Drug with Mary. It was really nice being able to get more experience in my field and chat with an SDSU alumna. We had one case where we couldn’t get a prescription for a CIV to go through the system, because the prescriber was a naturopathic doctor from out of state. It was an interesting case to learn about from a law perspective, and definitely not something we talked about in our law class in school.
Wednesday, I spent the morning with the hospital lab. I came fasting, so I was able to run bloodwork on myself. I did a CBC, blood chemistry and electrolytes, and lipid panel. Fortunately, the tests confirmed that I am as healthy as I thought I was. I had a lot of fun in the lab that day.
Thursday, I spent some of the day working on my presentation and my wellness coalition surveys. Then, I packed up for the weekend and drove to Sioux Falls. I spent the afternoon of catching up with a couple good friends.
On Friday, I spent the day at the Avera eCare center in Sioux Falls. Platte’s hospital utilizes their eEmergency services, but they also have ePharmacy, eAccess, and eICU services available. I was able to spend some time shadowing each department. I learned so much about telemedicine, particularly in the ePharmacy. It was a good experience for me, as I have never spent time in an ePharmacy before.
Overall, week three was a definite success.
Week four flew by really fast. After my weekend in Sioux Falls, I returned to Platte to spend some time with Rich, the hospital pharmacist Monday evening. Unfortunately, Rich’s cows got out, and he had to leave to go herd them back to where they belong, so I spent less than a half hour at the pharmacy that night.
I spent most Tuesday working on my Presentation, organizing my information for the Wellness Coalition project, getting some of my stuff packed, and hanging out with my host.
Wednesday, I got to spend the day with the nurses at the hospital. There had been a baby born the night before I got there, so I learned a lot about how newborns are taken care of in the hospital. There was also another woman who was ready to go into labor. I was able to talk to a nurse anesthesiologist, learn about Pitocin dosing and administrations, and observe the birth. The baby was a healthy baby boy, and it was a great ending to my experience in Platte.
On Thursday I packed up my things, gave my final presentation, had lunch with Cheri and Tera, and hit the road. On the way home to Rapid City I was able to stop in Winner and have ice cream with Hugh, the REHPS student there. I also got a tour of the apartment he and Chance were staying in, and it was pretty fancy!
The month sure went by quickly. I had a wonderful experience in Platte, and with the REHPS program. I am excited to see what REHPS will do in the future.