Brooke Schwasinger Blog

Brooke Schwasinger on her time in Bowdle

Week One:

My first week in Bowdle has been amazing. The first thing I noticed throughout the hospital, clinic and nursing home is welcoming staff. Each person I have met so far has been friendly and more than willing to help me with any questions I have had. During my first couple of days, I spent most of the time with the pharmacist catching up on inventory in the pharmacy, stocking the Pyxis and documenting drugs that we had to dispose of with the nurses. Throughout the day, different nurses and staff would come grab me if something interesting was going on. This gave me the opportunity to sit in on a care conference which was interesting to see all aspects of care for a patient in the hospital talk to the patient and decide their plan of action. I also got to watch a CT angiography and sit in a teleconference for a patient. Because of the rural location and Sioux Falls being so far away sometimes a specialist is needed so they are able to video in with some of the nurses and the patient. This gives the specialist the opportunity to ask the patient any specific questions he or she has. Over the next couple of days, I was able to shadow the nurse that does cardiac rehab, a physical therapy assistant and sit in on an ultrasound. On Friday, I got to work with Mary, the clinic manager, and help out with the administration side of things. Overall, my first week here in Bowdle was great and I enjoyed getting to see the different areas of healthcare that I normally do not see on a daily basis. I look forward to getting in the pharmacy more next week and working on some projects.

Week Two:

My second week in Bowdle was just as enjoyable as the first but even busier. I was able to work in the pharmacy more with Doug as we finished preparing for the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy inspection on Wednesday. I spent time checking for expired drugs, making lists of drugs that were located outside of the pharmacy and making medications into unit dose packages. I also had the opportunity to review the medications of all nursing home patients with Doug to make sure all medications were compliant with the Beers criteria. A pharmacist is required to review nursing home medications at least once a month and check their compliance with the Beers criteria. The Beers criteria is used to help minimize use of potentially harmful medications in the elderly or medications that can cause adverse effects in the elderly.

On Wednesday, the state inspector came to both Turner Drug and the hospital. I was able to follow her and see what she does in all of her inspections. It was really interesting to see the different kinds of questions she asked and compare the differences of an inspection in a retail setting verses a hospital setting.

The rest of the week was filled with time shadowing one of the physician assistants and seeing patients with him. It was cool to see what he did on a daily basis and how he related to patients. Paige and I were also able to play Wheel of Fortune and Bingo with the nursing home residents. This was a great way to relax and get to know some of the residents. I found out that a few of the residents used to work at Turner Drug with Doug. Hard to believe my first two weeks in Bowdle are over. I am looking forward to what these last two week bring!

Week Three:

After the long Memorial Day weekend, we had a short week ahead of us at work and a little catching up to do in the pharmacy. This week, I was able to spend a lot of time in the pharmacy. I put medications in to unit dose form and reload the Pyxis machine a couple times this week. In the pharmacy, there is a nice list of what goes in the med kits that are loaded in to the Pyxis machine. However, some of the kits on the list are not used anymore so I created a new list that consisted of the kits that are currently used. The end of the month can be a busy time in the pharmacy as you need to go through all the medications and look for expired ones. So, I spent a day gathering all the expired medications in the hospital pharmacy as well as the clinic and properly disposing them. I also went through both emergency rooms to make sure there were no expired medications.

This week we also had a few ER visits so I was able to follow the radiology technicians and observe some X-Rays. On Wednesday, Paige and I did a presentation over the lunch hour at the senior center about fall prevention. There was a good crowd of about 16 people, who seemed to enjoy our presentation. Before our presentation, we were able to talk to people individually and a few opened up to us about how they have fallen. One of the ladies had even broken her arm. I thought it was nice to know that our presentation was relevant in a lot of their lives.

Friday, we got the day off of work and spent the entire day fishing on the river. I only caught one little fish but everyone else caught a few and it was great to get to enjoy the beautiful weather. Fishing is huge in this part of South Dakota, especially in June there seems to be a lot of fishing tournaments on the weekends. Saturday, Mary took Paige and I in to Aberdeen and she was able to show some different boutiques and a few other things people do on the weekends.

Week Four:

My final week in Bowdle was full of a variety of activities. My week started off in the clinic following one of the physician assistants. I have truly enjoyed seeing the other side to all aspects of health care. I found it beneficial to see how the process of diagnosing a patient works and what points the provider thought were important to inform the patient about. Tuesday was a full of new experiences as we traveled to Ipswich with the Public Health nurse to provide a service known as WIC. Then we traveled to a nearby Hutterite colony to give a few immunizations. It was interesting seeing and learning about another culture as we talked to one of the families.

I also had the opportunity to shadow all of the people in the administration office and learn what they do on a daily basis. I enjoyed seeing the behind the scenes work of the hospital and learning about the different billing and insurance processes. I was able to sit down with the CEO and learn about what she does and how she runs the facility. I also got to see the blueprints for the new clinic that is going to be built on to the facility.

My last few days were filled with finishing up going through all of the drugs, looking for outdates in the pharmacy and emergency rooms. I was also able to reorganize the drug shelves in the pharmacy. Paige and I also went over to the Nursing Home one afternoon to help with crafts. I always enjoyed going over to the Nursing Home to visit with some of the residents.

I had such an amazing time in Bowdle, and enjoyed working all of the individuals at Bowdle Healthcare. I can’t thank everyone enough for their hospitality and kindness. I would highly recommend this experience to pharmacy students as well as other health care professionals.