Two PY2 students, Sue Liu and Clara Kim, had immersion experiences in Annie Penn Hospital.
Annie Penn hospital is a rural hospital under Cone Health system in Reidsville, North Carolina. It is a single inpatient hospital with services in pulmonology, cardiology, acute management and chronic disease control, with smaller outpatient fills.
The immersion itself lasts 2 months. According to Sue, her first month consisted of medication history review in the ER, while the second month was spent shadowing various health care professionals in different departments (e.g. cancer center, respiratory, surgery, and endoscopy), working in the IV room preparing IVs for patients, then later on working up patients, assessing them, and going on rounds with other pharmacists, nurses, case workers, and physicians in the mornings. “All these were valuable experiences for me because they allowed me to see the merit of interdisciplinary work that does on in hospital everyday,” Sue said about her experience. “I was able to see care delivery from one medical professional to another, which was one of the highlights of my rotation.”
However, working in the hospital as a PY1 student was not without its challenges. To Clara, who grew up in a city setting, transitioning to a small rural hospital was a surprising change. “I had to drive by cows and horses in the mornings, and once I even had to drive around a tractor that was going 5mph in a two-lane highway. I first felt like an oddball, also being one of the few minorities in the hospital,” she said. However, she soon fell in love with her working environment. “My favorite part of the rotation was how warm the people were,” Clara commented, “Being in a small hospital you may be disappointed at not being able to see more ‘exciting’ medical situations, but the staff are very kind and they have a sense of community.”
Sue felt it was a little bit challenging to deal with many drugs and disease states which she had limited exposure to during her first-year training. For instance, community acquired pneumonia and other infectious diseases were a common indication for hospital admissions, but unfortunately were only superficially covered during the first year. It was a challenge that pushed Sue to learn more and faster. She became a self-directed learner, looking up new drugs that she had never encountered before on reputable drug information websites (such as Uptodate.com) and memorizing the brand name, generic name, and adverse effects. “I also asked many questions to people around me, as they had much more experience in working at a hospital,” Sue said. “My preceptor also gave me plenty of feedback to help me improve.”
If you have any question about Clara and Sue’s experiences, feel free to email them or comment below!
Clara’s email: email@example.com
Sue’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some photos taken by Clara during her immersion: