2018 REHPS Hailey Lick

As my rural experience in Britton, SD at Marshall County Healthcare comes to an end, I take some time to reflect on my experience as a whole. Experiences throughout life are important to me. I am a firm believer that experiences teach us a lot more than information we are given. With that being said, my rural experience in Britton has helped shaped me into the healthcare professional that I am aspiring to be. I graduated high school in Rosholt, SD which is not very far from Britton. When I graduated high school, I thought I would like to specialize in sports physical therapy. Although I still have a passion for sports, my experiences have encouraged me to work rural. In a rural setting, I have learned from experience that I would always be working with something new, and every day would be different. In a rural, underserved area, healthcare professionals provide care for everyone, no matter what they are seeking care for. Rural healthcare is unique. To me, rural healthcare is family-like. Walking into MCHC, there was a sense of family amongst healthcare workers. In my final two weeks, I was given the opportunity to spend time with the residents at the assisted living, observe a pharmacist at the local drug store, spend some time with radiology, get a taste of what it is like to work as a nurse in community health, and spend some time with the physicians that work in optometry and dentistry in Britton, SD. One of the most memorable experiences in my final two weeks was with the CEO of the hospital, Nick Fosness, and his wife. Nick took Shannon and I out in the community to experience, “lake life” in a rural area. We were able to troll around in his fishing boat on more than one lake and take in the beauty of the area. I loved how close of a community each of the lakes had. Nick was able to troll along the shoreline and it seemed as though everyone took the time to shout a hello or send a friendly wave. Nick also took us to “Charlie’s,” which is a resort by Clear Lake in Lake City. The atmosphere was welcoming, and the food was great! During my final week, Sheila let us tag along with her to one of Britton’s bible studies. What I found interesting was how there were people from each one of the community’s churches. It did not matter to them that they belonged to different churches, they all came together as one. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity I was given. Heading out into your first clinical rotation can be very intimidating. Thanks to the community members of Britton and the employees of Marshall County Healthcare Center, I was able to feel at home during my first clinical experience. As a physical therapy student in my first clinical rotation, I felt fully supported by the community, my clinical instructors and the patients I was working with. Everyone I came in contact with played a role in developing my determination to provide healthcare to underserved, rural communities.