2019 REHPS Emily Spates

My first two weeks in Chamberlain have been so fun! We started our experience by getting accustomed to the hospital, grabbing lunch at a local restaurant, getting a small tour of the town and getting settled into our housing. I have been to Chamberlain many times before but during my first day I saw it in a new light because the river had severely flooded. We had seen people volunteering to sandbag local businesses which showed how close this community was.


I have gotten to experience so much of the hospital in the first two weeks here as well. As an MLS major I was very excited to see the hospital’s lab and learn more about how it operates. I have enjoyed watching and learning from the staff and have gotten to see things that I would not be able to see in my school’s lab. I have also gotten to experience the clinic, radiology, OR, ER, pharmacy, dietary, respiratory therapy and the long-term care facility attached to the hospital. I have been so impressed with the amount of effort everyone makes to make patients feel as comfortable and welcomed as possible. I also got to see departments such as finance, QA, laundry, maintenance, and supply management. Being in these departments really showed me what it takes to keep a hospital running . In my first weeks here, I have learned so much about rural healthcare and the community around it and am excited for what’s to come!

Weeks three and four in Chamberlain have flown by just as fast as the first two did. In week three we got to experience many more departments of the hospital such as OT, cardiac rehab, speech therapy, PT and activities and social work at the long-term care facility. We also got shown a bit more of the community with a tour of St. Joes Indian School and a meeting with at the Chamber of Commerce. We then got to sit in on a quarterly meeting where they discussed their trauma accreditation and other topics. We also went to eat at Cedar Shores with people from around the hospital. It was fun getting to know them on a more personal level. Week three flew by.

In week four, because we got to see so many departments in the previous three weeks, we got to stay more toward our disciplines, so I was mostly in the lab. I did, however get to visit some outreach clinics that specialized in vascular surgery and orthopedics. Those were very interesting, and I got to see some cool stuff. In week four we also completed our community project. For that we went to speak with the local kids’ camp called PAWS where we taught them about firework safety and what to do if someone got burned. We also made a handout for the parents with a summary of what we talked about. I will never forget my time in Chamberlain and I’m so happy I got the opportunity to experience rural health here.