2019 REHPS Sarah Jungers

Before this experience I didn’t know where Martin, SD, was or what I would all experience in my short time. Martin sits between two reservations, Pine Ridge and Rosebud, and has a population around 1,100 people. The Bennett County Health System is made up of a clinic, hospital, emergency room, and nursing home that are all interconnected.

Dani and I have been welcomed into the facility and community with open arms. I have learned so much about the community and healthcare within the past two weeks. I have spent a majority of my time working in retail pharmacy, so I didn’t have lots of experience with hospital pharmacy going in. The pharmacist here helps with all areas in the health system and plays an important part in the interprofessional communications.

I have been able to see so much in the first two weeks. I get to spend lots of time seeing the responsibilities of other professionals including: OT, PT, home health, PA/NP, pharmacy, ultrasound, and much more. It is interesting to see a case from start to finish and how each professional plays a role in part of the big puzzle. All of the employees have taken us in and taught us about their job, the community, and shared their stories. We have gotten to see lots of interesting ER cases including a trauma, drug overdose, car accidents, stiches, falls, and much more.

The first two weeks have been great and I am looking forward to the last two weeks!

Wow, my time in Martin, SD, flew by and I can’t believe it’s finished! I got to see and do more things in those four weeks than I would have ever imagined.  The Bennett County Health system may look small, but behind those doors a lot happens.

During my time in Martin, I enjoyed being able to spend time in each department (PT/OT, home health, emergency department, nursing home, pharmacy, clinic, and more) and get involved in the community.  As a pharmacy student, the majority of my schooling and experiences take part in pharmacy or pharmacy related activities.  It was interesting to see how other departments work and their rational behind what they do to all work together.  One experience that sticks out to me is the day I spent in home health care.  A nurse and I went around Martin and surrounding small towns doing home health care visits.  During that time I got meet the people of the area and learn their stories.  Going into people’s homes you can understand some of the struggles they face and what they are going through, which can help in coming up with a health care plan for them.  While in the pharmacy, I enjoyed working with the pharmacy staff and learning more about how they operate, the laws they have to follow, and how they play an important role in helping answer drug questions.  I got to work in the clean room and prepare IV antibiotics, which I had fun doing!  The pharmacy was also implementing a new drug disposal system, so it was fun to help design that with the pharmacist and add my input.

Each area taught me something unique and I could walk away with new knowledge and understanding. In rural health you definitely get to see a little bit of everything!  The whole staff took us in and made for a wonderful experience!  Thank you to Martin and all the amazing staff!