2018 REHPS Megan Schliesman

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the past four weeks with this incredible staff. During our last week in Parkston, we were honored to give a presentation about our experiences to the department heads. This was a perfect opportunity to express our gratitude to the people that made this experience truly extraordinary. I would like to take this opportunity to thank a few of the individuals that we interacted with over the four weeks and say how grateful we are for your help and encouragement throughout this process. Thanks to Rita, Darcey, Julie, Ember, Sarah, Mallory, Dr. Honke, Dr. Vanderpol, Dr. Wickersham, Dr. Sanger, Lindsey, Kerri, and everyone else that we had to opportunity to interact with. I appreciate your dedication to teaching us, but more importantly your dedication to your patients. You have shown us what a patient centered health care facility strives to be and how important interprofessional collaboration truly is. Thank you to Cheri and the entire REHPS program for making this opportunity possible for us. Last, but certainly not least, thank you to Geralyn for spending four weeks with me, answering all of my questions, and truly making this a great interprofessional experience. I look forward to seeing you grow and thrive on your journey to becoming a remarkable physician; and I hope to work with you in the future!

First Reflection:

Our first two weeks here at Avera St Benedict in Parkston, SD have been great! Geralyn and I had the opportunity to meet with and learn from several members of the hospital staff. We were involved in community activities with Julie and Ember including the annual Heart & Sole 5K Cancer Walk, Kicking Depression Kickball tournament, a babysitting clinic, baseball games, and rummage sales. My involvement with the medical staff included working with the hospital and retail pharmacists, physicians in the hospital and clinic, PA’s, anesthetists, nurses, and many other staff members!

One major aspect of healthcare that I noticed right away was the importance of outreach at Avera St. Benedict Hospital. In just two weeks, I had the opportunity to travel to three other communities outside of Parkston that are regularly serviced by Avera St. Benedict staff. That alone proves how important our healthcare teams are in making sure that everyone has access to exemplary service in rural communities. Our first outreach visit, consisting of popsicles and vaccinations, was to a few of the local colonies around Parkston. Having never been to a colony, we were amazed at the well-developed relationship that Kerri, the nurse, had established between the hospital and colonies. I also had the opportunity to travel with the pharmacist, Mallory, to the Wagner hospital for a day to see the various services offered there. This was excellent exposure to another facility with different needs. I enjoyed the time talking with the pharmacist about her experiences as well! My third outreach trip was with Dr. Sanger to the Scotland clinic and nursing home. There I was able to see how well the physicians split their time between facilities but still truly know their patients and are aware of their needs. We discussed the need for medication reconciliation and reduction in the elderly population, something that I look forward to learning more about.

With a full two weeks complete and more experiences than I can list, I am excited to see what the next two weeks here in Parkston will bring!

Second Reflection:

Over the past two weeks, I have had to opportunity to experience the unique properties of rural healthcare. We were able to help for a whole week with speech camp; learning about the letters F, S, C, L and finishing the week by painting with nursing home residents and swimming with the kids! We also were able to sit in on many meetings including clinic quality, commercial club, ACO call, department head, and care planning. These meetings helped to greatly expand our knowledge of the workings of rural healthcare and all the planning that goes into it. Beyond that, we were also involved in more outreach by helping in clinics throughout Parkston and the surrounding area.