Student Perspective: Paige

January 2, 2020

The Clinic was blessed to have a pharmacy extern for the month of December with local roots!  Paige is originally from Vandalia and is finishing her final year of pharmacy school at Ohio Northern University.  Though she is from the area, Paige never knew about the free clinic serving the Miami County and was very surprised by what she found after walking through our doors.  She was kind enough to share her Perspective of a month spent at Health Partners:

My experience this month at HPFC has been the most rewarding rotation I have had thus far. This month, I have had the opportunity to be a part of a healthcare team that truly cares about each patient as a person and not just a health outcome. I have seen the tremendous lengths the employees go to make sure patients have healthy food at home, have a comfortable place to live, and have gifts to provide for their children on Christmas day. I am so grateful to have been a part of this team for a month!

“You get what you pay for” is a common quote I have heard when quality is withheld due to lack of compensation. This is far from the truth at HPFC. The quality of care provided at the free clinic exceeds the quality I have seen at other family practice settings. The lack of reimbursement for services does not hinder the care provided. Each staff member strives to provide the best care for patients, regardless of the resources required.

This experience has opened my eyes to many other components of patient care and the “soft skills” that come with working in the healthcare field. Understanding the “why” behind patient’s non-adherence to medications or medical advice is something that often goes un-noticed or gets ignored and blamed on the “bad” patient. This rotation has taught me that, oftentimes, non-adherence is due to external factors like unemployment, living out of a car, inability to read instructions, or not having transportation to follow up on medical recommendations. Searching for the “why” is a valuable skill that I learned from HPFC.  This rotation has taught me many creative skills when it comes to managing patient care. Providing the patient a pill box, or simply writing “AM” on a pill bottle can make a positive difference for the patient. All it takes is a conversation about the patient’s needs! It is sometimes uncomfortable to ask patients if they have a home, or if they are employed. However, that conversation opens a door for a better understanding of the patient’s struggles and allows the pharmacist to tailor to the patient’s needs – which is ultimately quality care.

The skills I’ve learned at HPFC are skills that cannot be taught in a lecture hall, and are only attainable through experience and observation. I was unsure of what to expect during this rotation but completed this rotation with a better understanding of the uninsured and under-insured population and a greater knowledge of how to modify treatment to fit the patient’s needs. I have become more aware of the assistance and resources communities offer and will utilize these resources in the future when I become a practicing pharmacist.