2018 REHPS Rachel Zacher

Sturgis Regional Hospital was a very positive REHPS experience in all aspects. The health professionals and non-health professionals were welcoming and informative. All took time out of their busy schedules to make us feel wanted and to let us know exactly what it is they do for their organization.

Every morning we attended what they call “huddle”, which is when all the health professionals caring for the patients meet to discuss each patient and plan their discharges. We were able to follow and observe all health professionals in the hospital, clinic, long term care, and the urgent care areas. The unique thing about Sturgis is that all these facilities are under the same roof, so it was a close-knit network of all professionals involved.

Michelle Blue, the pharmacist that acted as my preceptor, is intelligent, caring, and a great teacher. Following her and being in her pharmacy increased my knowledge in hospital pharmacies. I had never worked in a hospital pharmacy, so it was interesting to compare and contrast community pharmacy day-to-day events with those of a hospital pharmacy. I also spent a day with Dr. Jeff Bertsch at County Drug, the community pharmacy in Sturgis and an afternoon in the Specialty Pharmacy in Rapid City, South Dakota. Observing all of these different pharmacy settings helped me to be well-rounded in all areas of pharmacy in rural communities.

Overall, being at Sturgis Regional Hospital cemented my decision to go into a rural healthcare setting. The overwhelming sense of community and passion for healthcare made me realize what an amazing setting this would be to practice in. I hope to get a position as a pharmacist in the Black Hills following graduation, as it would be an honor to work with this great community.