My first two weeks in Chamberlain have been great! On our first day, we had a good laugh when we realized that our pictures were on the napkin holders in the cafeteria. No wonder why everyone acted like they already knew us!
I enjoyed talking to the hospital pharmacists about different areas of pharmacy. One started in retail, and the other started at the hospital straight out of school. My concerns about hospital pharmacy were quickly relieved. They said that they enjoy the flexibility and variability of a rural hospital.
One day the OB/OR nurse was busy, so the head of the lab took us in for another hour. I’m not sure that I could find another place that would take two shadows in for double the assigned time! In our extra hour, he let us swab our cheeks, taught us how to gram stain, and showed us our cells under a microscope. He even taught me the process of drawing blood (without actually doing it, of course).
We have also spent time at Lewis Family Drug. The pharmacy manager is awesome. He is going on his 38th year serving as a pharmacist. I’ve never been in such a positive work environment; he has a way of balancing humor and fun with respect and efficiency.
My favorite experience so far was spending time with the activities coordinator at the long term care facility. I was amazed at the amount and variety of the programs she creates; there were van tours, happy hour drinks, movie nights, nail care, Wild West week, pet therapy, and many more. She meets with every person in long term care, asks about their interests and hobbies, and designs programs for them. She cares about each person so much and pushes them to continue doing what they love. It seriously warmed my heart. When I was there, we had happy hour and made drinks with cranberry juice, ginger ale, and raspberry sherbet. Some of the residents thought it was too sweet. I enjoyed the drink, and honestly could’ve spent all day with them. People always say to find a job that doesn’t feel like work, and today I definitely understood that.
When we aren’t working, we explore the sights and activities in Chamberlain. We went to see Dignity, a statue that represents and honors Native American culture in South Dakota. We admired the beauty of her and the view from the bluff. To continue our tourism, we walked to the Busted Nut Bar. We heard it was wing Thursday, so we each ordered a different flavor of wings to try. To end the day, we attempted to capture the beauty of the Chamberlain sunset. Somehow, the picture just never does it justice.
On Fridays, there are River City Friday Nights, and we set up for the Sanford obstacle course. The kids loved the course, and I got a kick out of the parents racing their kids! It was Pet Night, so Chelsey and I snuck away to watch the dog prizes and stopped in Butter Churn for some ice cream. I really enjoyed running into employees from Sanford; it made us feel at home.
On the weekend, the Community Center was hosting a flea market. To our surprise, there were 7 baby puppies for sale! We probably spent a half hour holding and playing with them. It was so tough to leave those faces. That night, we went to the State Theater to see Jurassic World. I was pleased to see the lower prices that come with a small theater!
On Sunday, we drove to Dairy Queen for a treat, and left as soon as the sun started to set. We went to the park at the top of the hill to admire the sky. A couple offered their binoculars to see the deer and buffalo. We made small talk with them, and chuckled in the car about their belief in Big Foot. When we left, we saw a pharmacist from Lewis and waved. It’s so fun to get to know people in the community and see them in different settings.
Here, the staff takes time for us. They aren’t too busy with their work, and they make an effort to give us a great experience. The personal touch here in Chamberlain changes everything for me as a student. I truly believe this is the ideal learning environment. I feel comfortable enough to ask questions and try new things; that is the best way to learn. I don’t feel rushed or like an annoyance. They seem excited to show off their specialty, and it is so refreshing to be around those who love their job. I am excited to see what the final two weeks bring!