Student Perspective: Katrina

March 25, 2016

March is always a chaotic month here at Health Partners.  With fundraising in full force, increased census numbers, and the beginning of spring comes hectic schedules and constant hat changes for our staff.  Sometimes it gets so crazy here that we neglect taking the time to step back and remember why we do what we do.  Luckily Katrina, our pharmacy extern for the month of March, has helped us regain this perspective with her perspective.  Please take a moment to read her well written words in this most recent edition of Student Perspective:


Being a pharmacy student, I have spent the last six years learning about all the different medications that can help treat patients. However, this rotation has taught me a new lesson: sometimes medications are not the answer for a cure.  Sometimes all patients need is someone to listen to them, to understand their conflicts, and to provide a support system. During this month I have learned that to be an incredible healthcare provider does not only mean we focus on healing the disease state, but we must also focus on healing the soul. Reflecting on the month of March, I have learned how to listen to patients and how to provide them with support through resources offered by the community. I could not have chosen a better location to finish my schooling as a pharmacy student. Not only is the staff incredible to work with, but the patients are some of the most kind-hearted and appreciative individuals I have met.

One of the most rewarding experiences was being able to develop a relationship with the patients. Most of the patients I encountered were in a state of struggle to make ends meet on a day-to-day basis; however, the patients were not ashamed of their status but rather trying to seek help from others to stand back on their own two feet. The amount of courage and strength these individuals have acquired in order to tell me their story is quite frankly, incredible. Patients opened up and discussed their finances and how their life journey brought them to where they were. These patients opened my eyes in terms of the value and importance of helping each other when one is struggling. In today’s fast-paced world, we often miss the opportunity to slow down and help our neighbor. This experience has changed that for me.

The other rewarding component of my time here was being given the opportunity to work with the amazing staff. When I was driving to the clinic every day, it didn’t feel like I was driving to work. I felt like I was driving to join the team. The team whose main focus is to provide top of the line and comprehensive care for the patients. I’ve been to many large institutions where I was supposed to learn how a “team based approach” is utilized to care for the patients. But nothing I have experienced has even measured close to the experience I have encountered here. This is how healthcare is supposed to work – the nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and secretaries all working very closely together to fulfill the needs of each patient.

Overall, this month has been a humbling and inspiring experience. It has taught me so much more than what is contained inside a textbook. It has motivated me to be more understanding of patients’ stories, to find more creative ways to treat disease states, and to utilize the resources in the community that are designed to help those in need. I cannot thank the staff enough for allowing me to join their team and the patients for allowing me to assist in their care.