Shannon Miller
First Week at Platte
I got to Platte and immediately felt welcome! The Alberda’s welcomed us into their home and allowed us to use anything we wanted. When Alyssa and I started at the hospital, everyone seemed very excited to have us there for a month. I started by shadowing the physical therapists and got to see the treatment of inpatients as well as outpatients. Although I couldn’t really contribute to the care of the patients, I learned a lot about how physical therapists can treat disease states, such as osteoporosis, without medication.  I also learned that they use care notes similar to what we use as pharmacists focusing on subjective information, objective information, assessment, and plan. I really enjoyed my time with the physical therapists and learned a lot!

We also got to have lunch with Cheri at a local restaurant. The food was great! We walked through the shops downtown and they had such cute home decor.  We also got the chance to take in the view at the River. My favorite part is that you can walk to any part of town within 10 minutes. We walked/biked to work every morning. 

I spent time with radiology and got to see it all, ECHOs, CT scans, ultrasounds and x-rays.  My favorite part was seeing the valves open and close on the heart during the ECHO. I also spent time with the nursing staff and got to observe a cataract surgery and follow the patient from admit to discharge.  …  I also got to see the pharmacy and it was much smaller than I expected. Another thing I noticed was that a lot of the staff took on more roles than they would at a bigger facility and the hospital actually paid for extra training of techs to cover more areas versus hiring a new tech already trained to do the same job.

Another part of my week that I really enjoyed was the farm safety day at the school.  We got to go along with the EMTs.  It was really cool to see the community and farmers come together to educate the kids on safety around the farm. It’s something that kids wouldn’t generally get educated on but in a rural community it’s really important. I even learned something and went home (like they told us to) and asked my dad if he had a harness to use when he was in the grain bin. They covered everything (See pictures below).

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My favorite place I shadowed all week was the lab.  It was very similar to pharmacy. The lab scientists were so nice and pulled me in and tried their best to show me all the interesting things they could find. It was cool to see all the tests they could do at a smaller facility. My first week at Platte was a lot of fun and I have already learned so much! On a side note, Platte has the most gorgeous sunsets!
Week 2

The week started off with another beautiful sunset in Platte!

Right away I had a crazy day at the vet experiencing things I had never seen before. My favorite experience was the live birth of a calf. I even got to see the farmer later that week around town and the calf was doing great! While at the vet they showed me how their medications are stored and it was interesting to see what meds they had that were the exact same as the ones we have at the pharmacy I work at. The calf birth was a great experience, but my favorite “customer” from the day was a cute german shepherd puppy! Some other things I got to see were horse ultrasounds, X-rays of a dog, and vaccinating/medicating cows and sheep at the sale barn.

I also shadowed at nurse practitioner and a physicians assistant this week. I got to see the work of a care team as one of the patients needed to be admitted to the hospital. I really enjoyed my time with the NP and PA and got to see their process of diagnosing a patient and how they chose the medications to prescribe. I shadowed radiology again and experienced the planet heart process. This was a little more up my alley—counseling on healthy lifestyles and habits to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. During the week we also got an ER patient and I got to see the process of treating a patient who was in a car crash.

My favorite day of the whole week was my day with the chiropractor, Dr. Callie. Callie owns her own practice in a small community which is what I want to do someday. She was very optimistic and gave me advice about my life right now and my future. She was also very oriented to inter-professional relationships with the pharmacy and the clinic/hospital to give the patient the best care possible which is something I’m hoping to focus on as a pharmacist. I even learned some natural remedies from Callie and got to see some pretty cool adjustments (she even adjusted a baby)!

For fun this week Alyssa and I went downtown to the shops and looked around. On Thursday I went to the Killer Tomatoes game and luckily found my favorite hospital employee, Roxy. The game was really cold (we felt like we were sitting at a fall football game) but we had a lot of fun eating seeds and talking! This program has really taught me to step out of my comfort zone and do things (such as go to the baseball game alone and ask to sit by Roxy) or ask for things that I normally wouldn’t have asked to see/do. I have already grown so much in the last two weeks and have really learned how to grab opportunities and make things happen for myself. I learned so much this week and cannot wait for next week when I shadow the dentist and the pharmacy (yay!).


I forgot to include our ice cream adventure last week.) Alyssa and I wanted ice cream really bad one night so we decided to walk over to Boom’s and get us a hometown shake. We found out really fast that when you are in a small town and there is something going on, everyone is there supporting it. We got to Boom’s only to find out, by a note on the door, that it was the spring concert and all of their employees were performing at or attending the concert that night and Boom’s had closed early due to short staff.

So we decided to try our next best bet, Little Brick Ice Cream, which we had heard was also delicious. We weren’t really sure where Little Brick Ice Cream was located but we figured it had to be on Main Street, so we walked down Main Street only to find out it was also closed! We then decided on our last resort, the grocery store which we had passed on our way from Boom’s to Little Brick Ice Cream and had double checked the hours to make sure it would be open. We ended up walking over 3 miles on our “quick” little trip to get ice cream, but we settled on some delicious peanut butter party and justified eating more because we had burned a lot of calories getting it.

Week 3
This week I shadowed at the Platte Dental Clinic and Hoffman Drug. Once again everyone was super nice. I had a great time with the ladies at the dental clinic and got to see a lot of things I had always wondered about while the dentist was working on my teeth! I even got invited to watch the bachelorette with one of the ladies at her friend’s house. I had so much fun watching the bachelorette with the ladies. Marie is a little older and was so funny to listen to and she was so cute, she had set out chairs for all of us and even made treats so we didn’t get hungry during the show! We filled out bachelorette brackets to guess who she choses, it was such a fun time.

I really enjoyed my time at Hoffman Drug. I’d like to own my own pharmacy someday so it was very cool to see the transition process they were going through. I also got to see a lot of services they offer that we don’t offer at our local pharmacy. Everyone was super nice at the pharmacy (minus when Tiffany quizzed me on really hard questions) and I really enjoyed my time back in my realm.

Week 4:
This week we went to Grass Ranch Colony. It was really cool to see their culture and all the things they can do on the colony. I had no idea that they had machine sheds with state-of-the- art equipment and did almost everything they could on the colony. Sondra was our guide for the day and she was so excited to have us. We started out with Coffee and a “snack” at her house. We then went to help then clean the 40 lb turkeys they had slaughtered the night before.

We had a great time chatting with the ladies and Sondra got us plastic aprons, gloves, and knives and off we went! We had a great time chatting with the ladies and Sondra got us a good job at a table just trimming the fat and veins from the turkeys. Every table had a different job and we were really grateful we didn’t have to cut out the gizzards!

After the trimming the turkeys we headed out with our hoes to weed the peas. All the ladies wanted to know if we had gardens at home and what we all planted. My garden is no where as big as their garden…I swear every time I looked down at the end of the row it was further away! Luckily we didn’t have to finish the row because lunch time came around.

Before lunch we went back to Sondras and she offered us a glass of homemade wine and let me tell you, it was strong, I had a hard time finishing my whole glass! All the little boys were running up to the window and staring in at us, it was so cute! At meals the men eat separately from the women so that was a little different but everything was prepared in their kitchen for all 30 families at the colony by two girls and the head chef!.

After lunch we went to Sondra’s parent’s house to visit and they gave us another “snack.” The snacks consisted of an assortment of candies and rhubarb cheesecake. The rhubarb cheesecake was so good! After the snack and visiting we headed over to the truss shed and toured how they make their trusses. The whole operation is run by the colony except one hired man to help manage and train the workers. He told us how great it was to have the colony men working for him because they really take pride in what they do and work hard. When he was in California he said a week wouldn’t go by without someone showing up with an arrest warrant for one of his workers. He was very grateful for the men and how they took so much pride in the quality of what they were building. After the truss shed we toured around the colony and saw the turkey sheds, the machine shop, the carpentry shop, the church, the kitchen, and the school.

After we saw all of that we headed back to Sondra’s parent’s for another “snack.” To finish off the day we went over the Kayla’s, a girl who is getting married in two weeks and saw her dresses. She has to sew three dresses and all the clothes for her fiancé for their engagement parties and wedding. She also sewed bedding to put on their bed and it was really pretty! I had such a great time visiting the colony and learning from them and I could tell they were really excited to have us there and show us their way of living.

To finish off my time in Platte we went to the ball games to watch Roxi’s daughter play and had a lot of fun chatting and meeting the families of a lot of the health care professionals we worked with! I have had so many experiences here that I will never have again. I am grateful to everyone for opening up the doors to their offices/practices to allow me to learn. I really wanted to see how pharmacy works with each health professional in the hospital and I feel like everyone did an amazing job at showing me that. I truly feel that because of this experience I will be a better pharmacist in the future because I fully understand the treatment of a patient as a whole!