2019 REHPS Kelsey Westad

The last two weeks in the REHPS experience has been a whirlwind in the best way! I had never been to Chamberlain before this experience, aside from driving through on my way to the western side of the state. Needless to say, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was looking forward to learning about the hospital and the surrounding area. My first day in Chamberlain was filled with a tour of the hospital and town, complete with a meal at the Smoking Mule, in case it flooded in the near future – a very real possibility with the river quickly on the rise. We were also able to move into our home away from home, with the best view overlooking the river.

Throughout the past two weeks, I have been blown away by all of the specialties and services offered in one central campus. From seeing a wide variety of ailments affecting patients in the emergency room, to shadowing specialties like cardiology and pulmonology in the outreach clinic, Chamberlain’s hospital is the epitome of a critical access hospital, providing quality care to patients in the area without them having to drive to either Rapid City or Sioux Falls.

I was also very impressed by the long-term care facility. The staff puts in a lot of effort to find out what each resident’s interests are and to reincorporate those activities into their time there. From hunting and fishing to bringing a live horse to the facility, the care center is truly embracing what it means to have patient-centered care.

Everyone has been very welcoming, from all of the staff at the hospital to the community members, always willing to let me shadow during their appointments or recommend a restaurant in town. I have already gotten to experience so much in such a short amount of time and am looking forward to the next few weeks.