I am at Landmann-Jungman Memorial Hospital Avera in Scotland, SD. I am living in independent-living apartments connected to the hospital with my REHPS partner, Molly. On Monday, we toured the facility and met most of the hospital/clinic staff. It is interesting to see how a critical access hospital works. Sometimes they are super busy and other times they have no inpatients. The staff has to be ready for an emergency visit at any time, though. On Tuesday morning, Molly and I attended the department head meeting. There was an activity where we discussed “Hallway Medicine.” This term is very prevalent in rural healthcare, as I have seen in my rural hometown. We discussed ways to avoid having community members seek medical advice outside the walls of the hospital and best practices to uphold HIPAA. We also talked a lot about quality control and it was great to see the department heads collaborate on that topic. That night we went on garden tours at several homes around town. It was great to see so many community members attending this fundraiser. We got to meet many new community members and spend more time with my clinical instructor, Erin. On Wednesday morning, we did a nursing home visit with a traveling physician, Dr. Sanger. It was great getting to see her role in the nursing home as she comes and visits each patient about every 60 days. One thing I really noticed about her was how good she was at getting to eye level with the patients. It is something my teachers repeat to us daily to create good rapport with the patients. We got the chance to hear her speak to a patient about end of life care. She was very professional and empathetic towards the patient. She worded everything very honestly, but delicately. It was good to see what we had learned at REHPS training put into action. Throughout this first week, I have spent a good chunk of time with my physical therapy clinical instructor. I really got to see how variable all her cases are. She can go from seeing a teenage athlete to a 90-year-old patient within the matter of an hour. She has to have a good understanding of all areas of physical therapy.
This Monday and Tuesday, we spent most of our days with other disciplines. We got to see how the lab worked. This was very eye opening. She explained why some lab results can be so quick, while others can take up to 30 minutes. This is good to know when seeing patients in the future who question how long lab results will take. The lab technicians are working on a protocol to get more affordable tests to the community. It was cool to see them talk about their desire to make healthcare more convenient and affordable for the community of Scotland. We spent some time with the business office and imaging, as well. The imaging department talked a lot about taking improvements into their own hands at LJMH. He stated that you never want to hit a stand still in your hospital, there is always something you can get better at.