Sturgis Regional Health provided a rewarding Rural Experiences for Health Professions Students (REHPS) experience. As a future nurse practitioner (NP) it was beneficial to meet with multiple disciplines and ask questions which pertained to me in my future roll. Specifically, it was nice to know how different disciplines like to receive orders or how to make processes easier for both parties.
The staff at Sturgis Regional were extremely accepting and were happy to visit and share with us. Providers asked engaging questions to make me think as a future provider. Following physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) was helpful to me in my future practice because I had the opportunity to experience different skills and exercises they use for different patients. This will aid me in understanding which therapies to order for my future patients.
Andrea Pederson, CNP in Urgent Care was a great provider for me to follow. She was the first NP I have been able to spend time with and it was nice to get that experience. She allowed me to practice as if the patients were mine and I had to make executive decisions since I soon would be graduating in August. She provided positive feedback and constructive criticism as needed, but was exceptionally approachable and friendly. She also gave me the opportunity to dictate using Dragon for the first time, which was exciting.
The REHPS program also exposed us to specialty pharmacy. I did not realize there were special pharmacies dedicated to dispensing expensive medications such as Hepatitis C treatment, oral chemotherapy meds, and biologics. We spent an afternoon at the specialty pharmacy in Rapid City, SD and it was intriguing to see what specialty pharmacy entails.
Overall, the REHPS program provided an experience that helped me become a more rounded, soon-to-be, provider. It was also nice to network with the organization and build professional relationships. Ideally, one day I can join as a member of the staff and provide care to the Black Hills community.