I didn’t know what to expect transitioning to Bowdle the weekend after graduating from college. My first day felt like I was running in circles from the clinic to the hospital then down to the nursing home and having to somehow find a way back to the clinic. By the second day, I had a greater appreciation for how seamlessly patient care flowed. In one of my very first clinic visits, a patient had a syncopal episode which required admittance into the hospital, conveniently down the hallway. As I continued to shadow services such as physical therapy and the nursing home, I noticed that the flow of healthcare was not limited to the floor plan of the facility. There are so many more services offered in this one rural facility than I anticipated. Being able to shadow disciplines such as physical therapy and pharmacy broadened my view of healthcare and increased my appreciation for well-established communication.
I especially enjoyed the time spent in clinic with the doctor and physician assistants. Dr. Kessler is an excellent provider and an amazing preceptor. I appreciated how she always took the time to explain certain conditions and her thought processes. I felt like a sponge soaking up all the knowledge and experience she shared with me. Her advice regarding medical school, residency, and medicine in general shaped how I want to practice as a future physician.
We were able to spend time at the nursing home and paint nails of residents, make home visits, and visit a colony. This was such an amazing opportunity to learn more about South Dakota and the healthcare needs here.
The last weeks of the experience went by before we knew it. It was priceless being able to spend the weeks with the pharmacy student, Monica. I was impressed at how much she knew about medications and their clinical application. It was encouraging to see how the patient is put first in every aspect of healthcare. Another interesting opportunity was learning about coding for financial compensation in the rural healthcare setting. It was definitely an eye-opening experience, and I am so thankful for those who do it.
The Bowdle Healthcare System helped me realize what kind of working environment I hope to be a part of in the future. One day, Monica and I were able to listen in on a trauma conference call. A group of physicians in the surrounding area brought forth cases to evaluate as a team and how to improve their healthcare. I admired how doctors would ask questions to understand the rationale behind certain decisions while making it sound constructive and not at all accusatory. It brings a lot of hope to me entering the healthcare field knowing that others are going to challenge me and expect me to challenge them in order to ensure that patients are receiving the highest quality of care.