I am pleased to say that I have enjoyed my first two weeks in Bowdle, SD. During the first two weeks, I have had an opportunity to experience many different aspects of rural healthcare. I have spent time with radiology, learning some of the details involved with taking X-rays and performing CT scans. I have also had an opportunity to spend some time with an ultrasound technician. I also spent an afternoon with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech pathology. These experiences have given me an opportunity to see healthcare professions that I don’t see on a day to day basis.
The rest of my time has been spent with the providers, learning within my field of practice. I have been impressed with the variety of patient population in such a small town. The Bowdle Healthcare Center is very busy for a small community, which provides great exposure and learning for my career.
I have really enjoyed getting to see patients with Tristan, as this has allowed us to discuss patient cases and teach each other about our respective professions. I enjoy being able to reach out to him for questions I may have on different pharmaceutical therapies. I have noticed multiple times that we discuss interesting cases, and try to decipher the correct diagnosis and treatment plan for that patient.
Lastly, the Bowdle community is very welcoming to us as students. The patients themselves are very welcoming, allowing students to be involved with their healthcare needs. The employees of the hospital are always available for any questions we may have and are making us feel as comfortable as possible. Two families have generously invited Tristan and I over for a home cooked meal. Tristan and I utilize the wellness center at the hospital and attended mass at the local Catholic church last Sunday.
I look forward to the remaining 3 weeks in Bowdle.
Over the remaining two weeks of my rural heathcare experience in Bowdle, I have continued to learn and experience new things that have helped me grow in my education. Since my last reflection, I had the opportunity to go on some home health visits with a nurse and Tristan. This was a great experience, as I had never seen or taken part in this field of healthcare before. I was also able to spend some time with cardiac rehab and lab technicians.
Tristan and I also hosted our community event this last week. We decided to host a baseball camp for the youngsters of Bowdle. We spent an evening teaching and coaching the young baseball players pitching, fielding, and hitting skills. The baseball coach was kind enough to help coordinate this with us and allowed us to help teach the kids for a day. Also this week, we went on a guided fishing trip with our main preceptors. This was also a great experience to participate in a recreational event in the community that many people do as a hobby in this area.
The community of Bowdle and the employees of the hospital continue to impress me with there kindness. They make Tristan and I feel as comfortable as possible and are always willing to answer any questions we may have. We had the opportunity to join a couple more families for home cooked meals as well.
I have really enjoyed my time in Bowdle, SD. The rural health experience is everything I thought it would be and much more. I am impressed with the variety of patient care available for such a small community. I was able to experience a variety of fields of medicine that I often don’t get to experience in the larger communities. I would strongly recommend this rotation site to anyone interested in rural healthcare.