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Out of the Mouths of Babes: A Student Perspective

October 24, 2013

As a young pharmacist just out of school, I recall the energy and enthusiasm that I had for my profession.  I started every day with the intention to change someone’s life for the better and God himself would have to be the one to stop me.  Unfortunately, after only a couple of the years into my career I seemed, like my colleagues around me, to lose that passion somewhere, and I knew at that time that a change was required.

Tiffany is in her last year of pharmacy school, and will graduate from Ohio Northern University with her doctorate in May.  She has spent the month of October with us here at Health Partners and exudes the same enthusiasm for patient care that I had been infected with in those years past.  Tiffany has a terrific grasp on the importance of quality patient interaction, and the difference it can make.  Here is her perspective:

If you ask almost anyone who works in the healthcare field why they chose that path they would most likely answer to help better the lives of others.  I know for me personally, I was excited when I started pharmacy school and was finally able to feel like I was making a difference in the world.  I wanted to save lives one person at a time.

A lot has changed in my optimistic viewpoint of healthcare as a whole since I have started actually working in the field.  It seems to me that most of the places I have gone or experiences I’ve had all lead me to the conclusion that red tape and time constraints have a huge impact on how much attention we can show to each patient.  It appears to me that most healthcare professionals are required/encouraged by their employer to always be counting the seconds and trying to think of the next 5 steps that can be taken to be as efficient as possible.

This realization was a little disheartening to the 18 year old enthusiastic child who started pharmacy school on 2007.  My month at Health Partners has really restored my faith in the healthcare system and it has been wonderful getting to work with such an amazing team of people.  My first Wednesday I was here I was paired with Susie, a volunteer nurse, to shadow/assist with nursing visits.  This was a great experience because not only did Susie and I work well as a team we were not rushed for time.  We would sit in the patient room and discuss any worries they were having, take their vitals, and figure out what we could do to best serve them.  The patients we saw that day were not the only people who left the Clinic grateful that they were able to be there.  I was too.         All of the volunteers at the clinic are very accepting of me even though I am a student and we all work together smoothly in order to provide the best care possible.  Not only is the clinic a fantastic experience on my journey to graduation but it extended further possibilities that could not be offered many other places.  For example, I spent a morning at G.I.V.E. medical missions doing an inventory for them on the medications they had received and delivered some of the supplies that the Clinic had received but were unable to use.  The collaboration in the community between the individuals and companies that work to provide for the community is almost palpable.

I am very appreciative of the opportunity given to me to work at Health Partners throughout the month of October and hope that the clinic continues to be blessed with gracious donations because they are doing an amazing thing for this community and for all of the pharmacy majors and other healthcare professionals that may be losing their optimism to the demanding fields in which we practice.