Out of the Mouths of Babes: A Student Perspective

June 27, 2014

In our latest edition of “Out of the Mouths of Babes” we meet Katie. Katie is a pharmacy student from Ohio Northern University, and, during her first of nine different experiential rotations to finish her doctoral program, she spent the month of June with us here at Health Partners. Though Katie is a local girl, she was not familiar with the services provided to the Miami County by our small free clinic. The staff was pleased to bring her some awareness, and, mutually, the Clinic benefited from her presence.  A win-win for student and patient alike!

In March, when I finally received the list of places I would be going to for my pharmacy rotations, I was both nervous and excited to see I would be at Health Partners Free Clinic. Since Troy is my hometown, I had heard a few things about HPFC in the past, but was very unsure of what to expect. I was also nervous about starting my first rotation in general. However, I could not have hoped for a better place to begin. The Clinic has very friendly staff with a family atmosphere, and I immediately felt welcomed. Even if it is a non-profit organization, the Clinic prides itself on being just like any other doctor’s office, and I was pleasantly surprised to see this.

“Building health and hope” is the Clinic’s motto, and it fits perfectly. The patients receive quality health care regardless of their financial situation and it gives them hope for a healthier tomorrow. The Clinic also gave me hope for my future as a pharmacist in reminding me of why I chose to join the profession. It helped reinforce my decision to work in health care because I wanted to help patients. Patient care is really the focus at the Clinic. Being my first rotation, I was excited to apply my classroom skills while also gaining even more clinical knowledge. However, along with this I also learned even more about the “real world.” This is the stuff that you can’t really learn in the classroom. For example, I had the opportunity to go to a seminar that explained about applying for grants, which is one of the ways the Clinic receives funding.

Each week I would look forward to Thursday evening when we held the walk-in clinic. This is when I really got to experience how much Health Partner’s impacts the community. Not just hearing the stories, but actually seeing and talking to patients gave me experiences I won’t forget and that I can learn from.  Getting to see their plight was very humbling. I have never had to worry about not having health insurance or having to choose between buying my prescriptions or food at the end of the month. Seeing different perspectives of our health care system showed me there are still many flaws and unfortunately many people “fall through the cracks,” even those that do have a steady income. My time at HPFC has allowed me to better understand what the underinsured and uninsured have to endure and make me appreciate things that I often take for granted.

The Clinic has made some great strides throughout the month of June, and I am thankful I could be there to witness it. Justin and the entire staff work hard to keep HPFC top-notch. The volunteers that come each week do it out of their heart, and it is really inspiring to know this. I am also grateful that I could be reminded what health care should really be about as I embark on my last year of school. I have always had pride in my hometown and seeing the good that is going on at Health Partners makes me even more proud.