2018 REHPS Christine Duerksen

Week 1 and Week 2:

I arrived in Huron, SD and toured the Huron Regional Medical Center to find a beautiful and welcoming facility. I spent this week with the friendly staff and providers on the Obstetrics Unit, Operating Room, and Physicians Clinic. I had the privilege of being included and assisting with several deliveries and assessments of newborns and mothers. I greatly appreciated the knowledgeable and accommodating staff who educated me along the way as I was new to Women’s Health and Obstetrics. I was able to participate in the following surgical procedures: cesarean section, tubal ligation, circumcision, EGD, colonoscopy, and sedation for a pediatric MRI. It was amazing to see the holistic approach that is provided in rural South Dakota along with an interprofessional team who are dedicated to the community.

I was welcomed with open arms to the Huron Clinic and was able to meet a variety of patients across the lifespan and work side by side with a very knowledgeable Nurse Practitioner who was an excellent preceptor. During the evenings, I took a stroll out by the local golf course/lake and visited with several local community members who all stated that they appreciate the local healthcare system and do not need to travel to receive high-quality care.

Week 3 and Week 4:                                   

I witnessed that the Huron Healthcare Community truly cares about their community members as I went to several patient’s homes for homecare visits. Each and every one of these patients welcomed me into their home for their assessment. I was able to travel to the local nursing home with my Nurse Practitioner Preceptor where we saw numerous patients. She truly has a love for the community as evidenced by her compassion for her patients. At the Physicians Clinic, I was able to participate in the care of many patients including multiple well-child visits with my preceptor who educated me along the way in a kind and professional manner. I was able to be included in the care of cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, wound therapy, and speech therapy patients. One patient I will always remember was receiving speech therapy after having suffered a cerebral vascular accident. It was amazing to see her progress as I come from a background of only witnessing patients when they are critically ill.

I truly appreciate rural healthcare as it is self-sufficient. There are a few outreach physicians that travel to Huron from specialty clinics to meet certain patient needs. I was amazed to see that Huron is able to accommodate every patient population. The healthcare community is welcoming to students which made my time in Huron a valuable educational experience that I will never forget.