As I mulled over the past four weeks, I did not realize how fast they had flown by. Looking back, it feels like just yesterday I drove into Philip not knowing anything about the layout or people of the town. In that time, I made Philip my home away from home.
In my final week, I got to enjoy the relationships I have built within the community. I enjoyed the slower pace, and will remember to not get overwhelmed when things get stressful. I will remember how the physicians, nurses, lab, and radiology take on whatever comes through the doors. They understand what healthcare is all about, at the end of the day it is about the patient. Our job as future healthcare workers is to do whatever it takes to make people’s lives better than when they walked into our care. After this experience with REHPS, I truly feel like I have a better understanding and appreciation for working in healthcare. I can say with absolute certainty, REHPS exceeded my expectations and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
The first week of REHPS has just wrapped up, and I couldn’t be more excited for what the next three weeks will have in store. The range of interactions with patients and workers has been astounding. The quality of workers in the hospital are the reason Philip is able to thrive, not just because of its critical access location. Every patient is treated with respect as soon as they arrive in the hospital or clinic.
I was able to sit in on a Team Care meeting, which is once a month where a nursing home resident’s family come in and meet with the team caring for their loved one. It was so touching to see how everyone came together to go over any changes or progress because it shows how dedicated all the staff truly is. It is so easy to overlook everything that goes into keeping people safe and living the best kind of life in their elderly years.
While spending time in the lab, I was able to have a great conversation with the lab manager. She emphasized the absolute necessity of treating every person with respect and compassion. If it takes you an extra minute or five minutes to get a sample from a patient because the patient has questions or needs to talk, it is worth it in the end. The people that come in are sometimes scared and vulnerable, that doesn’t mean we as hospital employees need to see only the disease or wound but see them as people.
Not only is this present in the lab, but everywhere else in the hospital. The physicians don’t want to treat the patient and get them out the door as fast as possible. They take the time to make sure the patient doesn’t have anything else afflicting them and make sure the patients understand every in and out of their ailment and treatment. They also ask them how their family is, work, anything to maintain that personal connection. These people aren’t just patients to them, they are people they see every day in the community and genuinely care about their wellbeing.