2018 REHPS Shelby Retzer

Going into this experience, I was not certain of what to expect. I was unsure of how the hospital/clinic would be organized or set up in a rural community, of how people would react to my partner and I being around, and what I would be able to do/see. These first two weeks though have definitely exceeded my expectations.

The first couple of days was mainly getting orientated with everything. We met up with Alyssa Howard, PharmD, who would be our go-to for the next four weeks.

On the first day we met staff from the clinic and hospital and got a tour around the facility in the morning. After lunch, we were able to get a tour of Eastern Star Nursing Home and Assisted Living. The size of the facility amazed me for being in such a rural community.  We were also able to spend some time with a resident to hear her remarkable story.

On day two, we were able to go to the South Dakota Developmental Center located in Redfield. The pharmacist there, Melissa, took us around to all of the buildings and showed us all of the services that they provide. We were also able to sit in on a Civil Rights Committee meeting where they decide on enforcing certain restraints, medication decisions, and lifestyle modifications for individuals that reside there. She also showed us around the pharmacy and explained what her role as the pharmacist is there. It was definitely interesting to me to see this opportunity that is available as a pharmacist, as the duties there are much different than any other pharmacist position that I have shadowed.

Day three I shadowed Aly during the anticoagulation clinic. We met with patients who are on anticoagulant therapy and tested their INR levels. This experience helped me to understand the basics of adjusting their medication frequency and dosages. On this day I was placed with a provider in the clinic who was also on-call in the Emergency Room. This is when I truly saw how versatile you must be in a rural community, as one minute we were with a sick child and the next we were in the ER for a patient going through drug withdrawals.

Friday was a very interesting and eye-opening day for me. We spent the day with Dr. Soundy, a Psychiatrist, and a resident back at SDDC doing consults with individuals there. After meeting and talking with them and staff, they were able to adjust medications as they sought fit.  This experience greatly helped me to become more familiar with medications that are frequently in patients with certain disabilities. It was also very eye-opening to be able to interact with the residents there and see first-hand their individual disabilities.

This last week has consisted of getting more familiar with providers, shadowing them, and seeing patients. It is incredible how much all of the staff work together here and how familiar they are with each patient. It is that kind of care and investment that can only be found in a rural community. During all of this time I have been able to interact with the hospital/ER, radiology, and laboratory departments.

I am excited to see what the next couple of weeks have in store for me and all that there is left to learn.

These last two weeks have certainly been eye opening. It started off on Monday when we had the opportunity to get a tour of the lab and all that they do there and services that they offer. It was interesting to see what types of tests that they are able to perform there and the kind of technology that they use. They also showed us tests that they cannot perform in their lab that are sent to Aberdeen on a daily basis. That morning we also had the opportunity to sit in on a cardiac rehab session. Later on, I was able to shadow Mary Wipf in the clinic.

Tuesday we participated in foot care day at home health. I spent that afternoon in the clinic where I saw a broken arm and a Nexaclon birthcontrol being removed and inserted.

Wednesday was another insightful day. I spent the morning going on home visits with the home health nurses. It was definitely eye opening to see how much these people relied on the nurses to come into their homes and help them. Often times we got distracted at the homes talking about latest happenings in the community.  After lunch I shadowed in the physical therapy department and was able to see the process of starting a new patient. McKenna and I then went to SDDC to experience an afternoon med-pass.

Thursday I was able to see what a retail pharmacy is like in a rural setting. It was interesting to see how they operate and that the differences were in the pharmacy that I work in and there. On Friday, we had the opportunity to go out to SDDC again for their consult day. These days were probably my favorite part of our time in Redfield. Helping to work with these individuals and seeing how it all works is definitely a unique experience that I would not get somewhere else.

Monday was an exciting day for me, as I was able to experience a SD Board of Pharmacy inspection of the hospital telepharmacy. Getting a feel for this was definitely a worthwhile experience for me as a future pharmacist.

On Tuesday I was able to shadow nursing staff in the hospital to see things from their perspective. McKenna and I were also able to sit in on a Med Staff meeting.

The rest of the week was full of time in the clinic. I was able to shadow multiple different providers, and was able to interact with patients. It is surprising to me how the providers almost always seem to know the patient, who they are, their history, etc. without looking at a chart. This is something that I feel like you can only get in a rural community.

Friday was imaging day for me. I was able to sit in the MRI truck which comes every Friday. It was awesome to see the impact that this service has by coming to the community.

I am happy with all of the opportunities that I have had while being here that I would not have been able to see otherwise. I was unaware of all of the services that a rural community could offer. There was never a time that I felt unwelcome in the community as everyone was so welcoming. It was nice to start to notice familiar faces just in the four weeks that we were here. I feel like being placed in this rural community really showed me how much people rely on healthcare services. Overall, my time in Redfield is something that I will never forget and that I will be able to look back on for years to come.