Rural Rotation Life

Hello my lovely blog readers, long time no see!!  It’s been a while since I’ve written, I’ve been busy getting engaged and starting to plan my wedding 🙂  I will graduate May 10th, and get married on June 7th, and I couldn’t be more excited!!

So where am I at now? I’m in Deer River.  What’s that you say?!! you don’t know where Deer River is??  How could you not know Deer River….it’s the home of the World’s Largest Wild Rice Festival!!  Come on now people, this is Minnesota!

Just kidding.  According to the 2010 census, only 930 people live here, so you probably have never heard of it.  And of course, these facts are completely accurate, as they’re from the reputable source of Wikipedia!  😉  (if I had a dollar for every time I wished I could use wikipedia as a source for something in pharmacy school….)

I asked a nurse at the hospital today how many people live in Deer River, and she said about 1000.  Deer River is about 15 miles west of Grand Rapids, or about 90 miles northwest of Duluth.  It is the site of my one required Rural Rotation.  The rotation I am doing right now is an “Elective – Institutional” and I am still really learning what that means; a mixture of hospital pharmacy and hospital pharmacy administration.

This is my second of five weeks at Deer River Memorial Hospital.  It’s definitely the smallest hospital I’ve seen, but they still do a lot, including total knee and hip replacements.  From what I’ve seen, there has been a hospital census ranging between 2-7 patients.

I have been helping with warfarin dosing, providing warfarin and discharge education to patients, and attending daily discharge planning rounds.  Most of my time so far has gone to looking at pre-operative orders for antimicrobial prophylaxis and making a presentation to propose changes to these orders in order to conform to the most current practice guidelines:

CPG antibiotics for surg

This paper is the biggest source of my information.

I have also learned the proper way to dispose of an expired bag of Lactated Ringers….

IMG_0377 IMG_0375 IMG_0376

Stab it with some scissors and pour it down the drain!! Awwwwww yeahhh.

My hours are 8-430, with the occasional 7am meeting.  This means I am either on my way to, or at the hospital by sunrise, and just leaving the hospital by sunset.  So although my vitamin D levels are plummeting, I sure am getting some good photo-ops:


This one has the sunset and the moon in the same frame, and was taken on Hwy 2 between Deer River and Grand Rapids, aka “G*Rock.”

I am staying with my great aunt and uncle, who have provided me with what I think may be the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in, and delicious home-cooked meals and desserts 🙂  I am really enjoying their company and hospitality, and I’m thankful for the rural rotation experience for the opportunity to visit with them for five weeks 🙂

Alrighty, time to get back to my second draft of my PharmD 4 Paper….or updating my Pinterest wedding board….

– Heather

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1 Comment

  1. Fatima

     /  November 24, 2013

    Thank you Heather for sharing your great experience with all the readers. I enjoyed reading through it.
    I am seeking to apply for PharmD program in the next year; hopefully.
    I wish you the best luck…and congrats on your graduation and wedding 🙂


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