Student Perspective: Kaitlin and Kweku
October 31, 2019
During the month of October, the Clinic hosted externs Kweku, from Cedarville University, and Kaitlin, from Ohio Northern University, as a part of their final year of schooling. Often, the Clinic hopes for impact in these relationships. We hope to impact the student in a way that will better their career, and, we pray, the students will impact those we are fortunate to call our patients. “Impact”, is definitely a word we could use when describing these students’ experience over the last 30 days, and they were kind enough to share some words about that in this month’s edition of Student Perspective:
My time at Health Partners Free Clinic changed my idea of what a healthcare provider is. It truly sparked a new excitement for the pharmacy profession, my future career and the care I can provide to others. I was shown time and time again how valuable the care provided by this facility was to this community and I was able to get a glimpse of how impactful my future career could be. I was shown that health care is not always a disease state and a new medication. Sometimes it is more about listening and building a relationship with the patient sitting in front of you.
There are parts of health that medication cannot fix. We are challenged as health care professionals to remember this in a world that is so quick to solve every problem with medication. During my time at HPFC I learned that we cannot always rely on medication to fix problems, a scary thing to realize as a future pharmacist whose career and purpose revolves around patients needing medication. How much better could our care be if we sought to understand the factors behind the poor health of the individual? Can they afford to make healthy food choices? Do they have a car to get to clinic appointments regularly? Do they have a support system at home to encourage them during a new medical treatment? Without these things, even with the best treatment plan, the patient is likely going to fail. Our treatment plan is only as good as the resources the patient has. We must find out what our patient is lacking and strive to fix it if we can.
This month had its challenges as well. I was faced with failure at times, and at times it was frustrating to realize that I was more invested in the patients health than they seemed to be. However, even when I was not able to change their perspective on health, I was able to listen. At times I was able to find out why it seemed they were indifferent through interacting with them and that normally put things in perspective. I was blessed to grow up in a family that always had enough and did not have to make decisions between medical bills and rent or medical bills and food. It was truly eye opening to discover how many people do not have that luxury. Multiple times during this month I felt guilty for how much in my own life I had taken for granted prior to this experience. I am still in awe of HPFC as it is an amazing facility full of healthcare professionals focused on filling gaps for patients.
I feel blessed that I was given the opportunity to spend time at HPFC. The employees of the clinic and the patients using the clinic resources made this experience one that I will never forget. It was a blessing to work with the nurse practitioners in the facility and provide care to this demographic of patients. I will carry the life lessons and medical knowledge I learned at this facility with me throughout my career. Thank you for this amazing experience!
I am so grateful to spend my October APPE’s at Health Partners Free Clinic. Justin and the amazing staff were so nice and taught me so much about delivering of good health. It has been an eye-opening and a blessing as well. This is the first time I get to work hand-in-hand with other health professionals in delivering quality of health to patients. Throughout the month, I got to challenge myself to think outside the box in coming out with the best solutions for our patients. I continually got to know, understand and relate to our patients in a unique way. HPFC gave me the opportunity to impact my knowledge and skills I learnt in school to our patients.
HPFC exposed me to a different part of health system which I did not initially know exist. I was really impressed the way all the staff treated patients with compassion and related to them as family. I came to understand healthcare is not just about diagnosing and prescribing drugs, but it goes beyond. I met patients who I could personally relate to them. Some patients were struggling in getting access to healthy food. As an immigrant from a third world country, I can relate a lot to most of the patient’s problems in accessing to transport to the clinic and healthy food.
HPFC helped me to understand every aspect of a patient’s life that might affect their health. I was also blessed to have an opportunity to perform health screenings in two soup kitchens in the community during this month. Personally, it is a joy time for me anytime I get to offer the little I have to the community. As I witnessed many families come to the kitchen, I realized how poverty can easily affects one’s health. My experience at HPFC made me to be more appreciative of little things I took for granted such as wasting of food. As a future pharmacist, I pray and hope to continue to remember some of these barriers to healthcare that I experience here at this amazing facility.
I am so thankful and blessed to have the opportunity in serving at HPFC. All the staff and patients made this month rotation a one I won’t ever forget. I learnt so much from the nurse practitioners and volunteers at the facility. I look forward in using the lessons I learnt this month in my future rotations and my profession. Thank you all for this memorable and amazing experience!