2018 REHPS Monica Pillatzki

My REHPS experience has been truly amazing. I did not really know what to expect when we first started. I have gained so much knowledge from all the health professionals and staff here in Bowdle. We were very well taken care of and Bowdle felt like home away from home.

The first half of the experience was excellent. Immediately, we were able to jump in and observe and learn about the rural setting. During the first week, we followed the medical doctor, pharmacist, physician assistants, physical therapy, radiology technicians, and the nurses. One thing that stuck out to me the most was the emergency room visits. There was a difficult case of a lady who broke her arm and it was incredible to see how well all the caretakers worked together. I appreciated seeing how every person’s skill set was utilized.

I enjoyed learning about other health professionals’ points of view. As a pharmacy student, I have mostly been concerned with pharmacy knowledge and responsibilities. Being able to see firsthand how others do their jobs and behind the scenes work has given me a better understanding of the healthcare system. I have loved seeing all the interprofessional relationships. The first half of the experience has taught me to utilize my resources and not to be afraid to ask for other opinions and help because every person is important on a care team.

During the second half of the experience, we observed ultrasound and MRI, home health, cardiac rehab, colonoscopies, lab, and more pharmacy and clinic shadowing. The second half was so rewarding because I saw some of the same patients as I did during the first half. I enjoyed the follow-up with patients and felt like I got to know some of them better. I enjoy that in a rural setting a health professional truly gets to know their patients on a personal level.

We followed the pharmacist for a full day in the hospital during the second half. It was easy to see how needed a pharmacist is in the rural hospital. Bowdle only has one pharmacist and it made me appreciate how lucky bigger facilities are to have more than one person, as that is a lot of responsibility! I admire how hard he works and enjoyed seeing all the tasks that a pharmacist performs in the small setting. One of my favorite parts was hearing about how the primary care providers appreciate the input from the pharmacist and vice versa. I feel that they have such a good working relationship with each other and it makes their healthcare team stronger.

Bowdle’s healthcare team is full of outstanding people. The quality of care and kindness given to patients is priceless. Participating in the REHPS program has been incredibly beneficial. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this program and I have had a wonderful experience.  I would highly recommend this internship to every student!