As a second-year pharmacy student, we complete our first hospital health system experience of our pharmacy career (as part of the CU Pharmacy Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience, IPPE). I am very passionate about rural pharmacy and so I matched to do this rotation experience in Salida, CO at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC). This is a small, critical access hospital that many people in this area rely on. I believe that pharmacists have such a huge role in medical care in rural areas because most people do not have easy access to medical care but do have access to a pharmacist.
At HRRMC, I got the pleasure of working with a CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy alumni that was working as an infectious disease pharmacist at this hospital. This was such a great experience as I got to spend time in the microbiology lab checking on the specimens and watching what different bugs were growing and then discussing right there how to treat it. This was such a great experience to see the infectious disease diagnosis process from the beginning which I would not normally get to be a part of in a larger hospital setting.
I also got to attend rounds and see what an integral part of the medical team that a pharmacist is and especially how important it is to have pharmacists in the hospital and in the community in rural areas. The pharmacy at HRRMC even provides prescription delivery to people in the even more rural communities in which their local pharmacy is more than an hour away. I am lucky to have had experience in a rural pharmacy setting and to have had such a great preceptor that also shared the same passion for rural pharmacy.