Student Perspective: Meagan

August 31, 2018

The pharmacy students that come over to the Clinic to spend a one-month rotation with us typically operate at a high level in their skill sets, however our goal here at Health Partners is always to challenge these young minds to think about more than just the medicine with our patients rather to understand the whole picture that makes up the patient.  Meagan, our pharmacy extern for the month of August, came with those same skill sets but added to that with the patient-centered experiences that we were able to offer her this month.  She really stretched herself in that direction and we were proud to be along with her in the journey she describes in this month’s Perspective

Sound, quality healthcare. Quality healthcare is essential in today’s healthcare, yet not every patient has access to good, quality care. During my time at Health Partners Free Clinic, I was able to see how many people just in Miami County do not have access to care at all. Whether a patient cannot afford insurance, or if their insurance plan is not accepted at local clinics and hospitals. I see the patients coming in after not being at a doctor for years. Miami County is fortunate to have a clinic like Health Partners Free Clinic right in their back door. The healthcare opportunities that patients can receive at Health Partners is unique and great quality healthcare. It is a holistic and team approach to help every patient with his or her unique needs when they come into the clinic.

I was able to see first-hand, the caring and helpful nature that every staff member and volunteer has towards the patients that walk into the Clinic. The quality care does not stop with the giving attitudes of the volunteers; patients are able to receive well-rounded care here at Health Partners. The team-based approach from nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, doctors, social workers and everyone in the office is working together to provide the best care for every single patient.  

Every patient has a different story, a different struggle, and a different outlook on their life and health. As a future health care professional, it is my job to not only give the patient sound medical advice—in my case on medications—but it is also my job to listen to the patient and figure out exactly how I can help the patient that day. Some days, it may be to counsel the patient on a new medication to help improve their disease state, the next day, I may just have to be there with the patient and talk with them about their everyday activities and find when the best time is for them to take his or her medications are. At Health Partners, I have learned that every day brings something new and some days may not be set in stone, but no matter what, it is my job to be there for the patient and figure out all I can do to help them. 

Health Partners has given me a new outlook on patient care: quality care. This past month spent at the clinic has shaped me into becoming a more empathetic future pharmacist. It has also led me to see the patient holistically and to speak with them and hear their story rather than seeing the patient as a medication or a number in their chart. My experience at Health Partners Free Clinic didn’t make me a new person, it shaped me into having a new outlook to how I will work with my patients and find empathy to treat their needs and their disease states. I hope to be the smiling face that patients think of when they think of healthcare instead of the hardships that they may have faced in order to receive the care that they deserve prior to coming into the clinic.  

I cannot thank the staff and volunteers at Health Partners Free Clinic enough for all they have taught me both about medicine and also about having such a giving heart.