Last few weeks in Deer River!



Happy New Year!!  With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season I have been neglecting my blogging duties!  Today I am stuck indoors, as the Duluth Police have ordered all unnecessary travel to be avoided due to very very icy roads.  I have already watched a few people struggle to make it to their cars in the parking lot without falling, so I am going to wait it out, watch some football, and blog for all you readers out there 🙂

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Pictured above is the Deer River HealthCare Center, or Deer River Hospital.  Most mornings on my drive in I saw some gorgeous views and sunrises.

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Unit-dosing is pretty standard for most hospitals.   Single doses are packaged in the hospital pharmacy when they are not available commercially, or are too expensive to buy pre-packaged.  I helped out a little bit with this….

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…..or was I just showing off my engagement ring?!!?  The world will never know.


As you can tell, it’s pretty hard work to get those labels to stick! ;-P




I love photographing auxiliary labels, and then instagraming them.  I also believe this makes me more of a pharmacy nerd than I am already.


This is a photo of my workstation, complete with the festive Merry Christmas sign I made.  I was usually busy working on something, but one day I had a few minutes of free time and was excited for Christmas!


I also celebrated my birthday on my 2nd to last day of rotations in Deer River.  My wonderful fiance, Ryan, sent me flowers and a balloon that were delivered to the pharmacy!  The pharmacy staff organized a walking taco bar for lunch, and one of the housekeepers made me a gluten-free cake!  I miss everyone in Deer River, they were all so friendly and fun to work with!

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During my last few weeks I had the incredible opportunity to watch surgeries!  I saw two total knee replacements, one partial knee (unilateral) replacement, a shoulder ligament repair, and colon resection/colostomy.  All the surgeries were extremely interesting to watch from inside the OR, but the colon resection/colostomy made me a little light headed and I had to sit down a few times to keep from fainting.  I had never seen the contents of the abdominal cavity of a living person before, nor had I seen a diseased colon.

The orthopedic surgeries were so interesting!  To replace a whole knee, the surgeon shaves off the bottom of the femur, the top of the fibula, and the back of the knee cap; and then cements the correctly sized metal piece to replace the elements removed!  There is always a product representative in the OR helping the surgeon to pick the correctly sized replacement parts, and I spent a while talking with one of the reps.  I had never knew such a job existed!


I also spent time with each of the four surgeons and went over my proposals for updating the antimicrobial prophylaxis prior to/after surgical procedures, according to the 2013 guidelines.  Although I have to admit I was nervous to talk to surgeons, and tell them what they should be doing according to the most recent guidelines, I was thankful for the experience as it greatly improved my communication skills, and confidence in speaking with other healthcare providers.


I am super excited for my roommate, Tessa, who has this rotation next year!!  🙂


Hope everyone stays safe on the roads out there today!!

– Heather

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