2019 REHPS Abby Simon

The first week of our REHPS experience has been a great experience getting acquainted with the Redfield Community Memorial Hospital, as well as the community of Redfield. All of the staff and providers at the hospital and clinic have been so welcoming and helpful. I have had the opportunity to work with patients in the clinic, hospital, emergency room, and long-term care facilities. I learned a lot about Critical Access hospitals and what they can do. They are set up to accommodate outreach providers for specialties that the facility cannot offer. They also offer services such as Cardiac Rehab and Physical Therapy, that patients would otherwise have to travel to receive.

This week we also got to take a tour of the South Dakota Developmental Center. The SDDC is a residential care facility that provides services for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Their goal is to rehab individuals and help them get back out to lead their lives in the community. It was very interesting to learn about and see the campus. We are planning on returning to visit the SDDC again later in our REHPS experience.

The first weekend we enjoyed some of the attractions that Redfield has to offer. On Friday evening, we visited the drive-in movie theater. On Saturday morning, we went out for brunch at Leo’s Good Food (the breakfast was highly recommended to me by the clinic staff!). We also explored some of the shops on Main Street and browsed the antique store.

So far, my time in Redfield has been a lot of fun. I have enjoyed the variety of things I have be able to experience, and I look forward to the interesting things that are planned for the upcoming weeks!

It is hard to believe that we are already beginning our last week in Redfield! We have had such a good time with all the healthcare providers, staff, and community in Redfield that the time has flown by. Over the last few weeks, I continued to spend time in the clinic, ER, and nursing homes. My primary PA preceptors in the clinic often let me see the patients and make suggestions on diagnosis and treatment, as well as perform the charting under their review. This has been great practice for me as I prepare for graduation. I also got to perform minor procedures including suturing and cryotherapy.

Dr. Larson comes to CMH on outreach to perform scopes and he allowed us to observe EGDs and colonoscopies. We also returned to the South Dakota Developmental Center to observe the appointments when the psychiatrist came up from Sioux Falls to see the residents. We visited the physical therapy department, where we both got to have dry needling performed on us. Other areas we shadowed included lab, radiology, nursing, and home health.

Spending time discussing patients with Mel has also helped enrich my experience. Talking things over with someone in a different profession has helped me realize the differences in our training and our perspectives. She has been able to teach me about all the capabilities that pharmacists have. As I look forward to practicing on my own in the near future, it is great to have a better idea of the resources available in other healthcare professions.

Mel and I have worked on a couple different things as part of our community project. The week prior to the 4th of July, we researched and constructed informational bulletin boards in the hospital. We covered the topics of Sun Safety and Fireworks Safety. Additionally, we worked on a project on Opioid Safety. Staff at Community Memorial Hospital are currently working on an opioid project. We wrote an article that provided an overview on opioid medications, proper storage, disposal, and appropriate use. We are hoping the article can be published in the local newspaper and distributed to the community. We also replaced our Fireworks Safety display to contain the opioid information after the 4th of July had passed.

We have continued to enjoy spending time in the community of Redfield. We have been eating out at all of the different restaurants in town (who generously provided gift cards in our welcome baskets!) and have been working out together in the gym at the hospital. We also had the pleasure to be interviewed for an article in the local newspaper!

Overall, I have had a great time in Redfield getting to know the in’s and out’s of living and working in a rural community. I have learned so much from all of the providers and staff at each of the places we had the opportunity to go.