What a great 3 weeks. My time in Martin, SD was plum full of new experiences in a unique hospital. Going to a new hospital and trying to see as much as you can, without feeling invasive or annoying to some sounds like it could be difficult. I felt so accepted right off the bat and never felt as though I was in the way or a nuisance. The pharmacist, Desiree Moreland, was such a great preceptor. She set up times for me to see essentially everything in the hospital. Included in some of my experiences in the hospital outside the pharmacy was assisting Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, the Nurse Practitioner (NP) in the clinic, NP in the nursing home, wound care rounds, morning rounds with Physician Assistants (PA), lab work, emergency department, and more. The pharmacy technician, Lynell, set up many extracurriculars as well. Some of these included some good fishing spots, pointing me towards the city golf course, and places to eat in town. I was also fortunate to be able to ride along in the ambulance on numerous calls with EMTs and learn a lot about what happens on site as a first responder.
This experience made me realize what challenges critical access hospitals have to manage. Especially as a private entity such as Bennett County Hospital. Fortunately, there are some resources that they can use such as Avera eCare and others that can help make them a bit more versatile. I really liked how each person assumed many roles. One thing that has worried me in my search for a potential job is being restricted to limited roles and getting burnt out of doing the same thing. I can see how in a smaller hospital like this, everyone has to be able to do many things because there is a lack of employees and funds to specialize in single tasks. I can see how having a team that gets along with each other well is essential to the hospital running well. I was also fortunate enough to sit in at a board meeting where I got to see the different point of views from inside the hospital to community members outside the hospital as well.
Overall, this experience gave me great insight to what it is like to work at a rural critical access hospital. I always tell people that I learned a ton and that I have a ton left to learn. I couldn’t have asked for a better REHPS experience and feel grateful that I chose Martin, and the people there are a major reason why my experience was so great.