I really enjoyed exploring the community and learning from all of the hospital, clinic, and nursing home staff. I thoroughly enjoyed my REHPS experience in Bowdle and would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in rural healthcare. “
I was excited for my three-week REHPS experience, but my time in Bowdle, SD completely exceeded my expectation. When I first arrived at Bowdle, I was warmly welcomed with open arms. Madison, the pharmacy student placed in Bowdle, and I hit it off right away! After we both got settled into our living quarters, the REHPS coordinators met us for dinner to welcome and introduce us to the program.
The first day, Madison and I worked with the public health nurse and went to several home health visits. Madison filled the medication organizers while I performed the physical exams for these patients. We both really enjoyed this experience since we each got a glimpse into the other’s field and the positive impact of home health.
I spent a majority of my time working with the providers in the clinic. Bowdle has a total of 3 providers – two Physician Assistants and one Physician. These three providers cover the clinic, nursing home, and hospital. I spent most of my time working with the physician. Not only did working with her solidify many medical concepts I have learned about in my didactic training, but I also learned a lot from her interaction with her patients. She empowered her patients to take autonomy of their care, truly listened to her patients concerns, and assessed the risks and benefits of every intervention she ordered.
While shadowing the providers, we were able to see a variety of patients and procedures. From infants to elderly, we provided wellness exams, steroid injections into joints, lesion removals, sutures in the ER, cyst removals, and much more. There was rarely a repetitious day.
We were also able to observe other departments of the hospital that play crucial parts in patients’ recovery and success. We worked with occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech language pathology, radiology technicians, nurses, the director of nursing, medical laboratory scientists, administration, and the nursing home staff. Additionally, I spent some time with the Madison and the hospital pharmacist and learned a lot about their role. We really enjoyed working with and learning more about these other departments that play a crucial part in patients’ care.
Although we spent a lot of time in the hospital setting, we were also invited out into the community several times too. We were invited out to supper with the clinical coordinator and hospital pharmacist. We were also invited out to Beadles’ farm for supper and an evening on the farm. We enjoyed seeing all of their animals and sitting by the fire in the evening. As we explored the Bowdle community we visited the local newspaper shop to get coffee, The Watering Can store to pick up flowers, and Turner Drug – the local pharmacy. During the final week of our experience, we took a road trip to New Evarts Resort on Lake Oahe to go fishing. Pete’s guide service did not disappoint! It was the perfect day to be out on the river, and we had almost caught our limit after only a couple hours.
Overall, my 3 week experience in Bowdle was absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed exploring the community and learning from all of the hospital, clinic, and nursing home staff. I thoroughly enjoyed my REHPS experience in Bowdle and would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in rural healthcare.