Paige Moser on her time in Bowdle
I was so excited to start my REHPS program this week with Brooke, a pharmacy student from SDSU. The week started off with our first day in Bowdle. It was nice, because we did not have to arrive until around lunchtime. When Brooke and I arrived at the Bowdle Healthcare Clinic, we met Mary, the clinic director and then we were given a tour of the facility. After the tour, all three of us met up with Cheri and we went out to lunch at Drake’s Place, which is a made-to-order restaurant in the local gas station. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and sweet potato fries—it was awesome! After that, Brooke and I got situated into our new living quarters. The place that we are staying is an old clinic in which some of the exam rooms have been turned into an apartment. Part of the building is still used as the public health office, but the rest is our cozy little place to live! The best part is that it is just down the street from the clinic, so we can walk there every day.
The second day we got to work. A lot of my time this week was in the clinic where I followed my preceptor, Amanda Kramer PA-C. Amanda is a great teacher and she has let me do a lot in my first week, which is awesome. Some things that I have gotten to do this week include: placing a pessary, learning dictation, putting in hospital orders, and discharging a patient. However, this rotation is different from the other rotations that I have done in school because I have gotten to broaden my education by observing other roles outside of the clinic setting. During this week, I had the opportunity to see an ultrasound of the venous and arterial systems of the lower leg to rule-out Deep Vein Thrombosis, a CT angiography of the heart, and cardiac rehab sessions. Brooke and I also got to hang out with Melanie, a nurse that does home health visits throughout Bowdle and the surrounding areas. During an afternoon with her we got to go on a home visit, and also got to see a patient who was part of the WIC program. It was awesome to be able to get a broader experience on how healthcare works in a small town! As for the weekend, Amanda and I are on-call for the ER so I hope we get busy there. Otherwise—I’ll have to study!
I can’t believe that we are already half-way through our REHPS experience! The second week was just as busy as the first. It started off on Monday in clinic with Amanda. Amanda is letting me see patients on my own, come up with an assessment and plan, and then document the patient visit. It is nice to be able to follow a patient all the way through to the end of their visit. In the afternoon, Brooke and I met Melanie once again and got to go on three home visits. One of the visits was even to Java, a new town! The next day Brooke and I stayed with Melanie as she conducted a “heart healthy” screening for residents in the town. After that, I followed Chelsea in Physical Therapy for a few of her patients and then returned to clinic with Amanda.
The next day I returned to clinic but Brooke and I also had the opportunity to watch some patients get mammograms. I think this was my favorite experience this week. It was extremely interesting to see how a mammography is done. I think that getting experience outside of the clinic will only benefit me as a provider in the future. Now, when I send my patient to their first mammography I can tell them what to expect—even though I haven’t had my own mammography yet. The next day, we had a little bit of clinic time again. We also did an ER simulation with the staff to go over what to do in a trauma situation. The simulation was also fun; the staff let me intubate and insert a chest tube on the “dummy” patient. Friday started off really busy with three ER patients right away in the morning, rounds, and clinic. However, throughout the day things slowed down and Brooke and I got to go over to the nursing home to play bingo with the residents to end the day! It was a pretty good week!\
This week in Bowdle was a pretty short week! We had Monday off for Memorial Day so I studied all day. Tuesday through Thursday were all days with Amanda and Wayne in the clinic. We saw a lot of patients but the most interesting thing I had the opportunity to see was a tracheostomy tube change. Wayne, Amanda, and I all were there as Wayne explained how to change the tube. I had never seen that procedure done before so it was interesting to watch. The rest of the clinic days went by without much trouble. On Friday, Brooke and I got to go on the yearly student fishing trip. It was awesome! Mary and Doug Turner picked us up at the apartment bright and early and drove us to the place where we met our fishing guide, Pete. Then we got in the water! Our day started off a little slow, but overall we caught 16 fish! We also got to relax, have some quiet time, and even had lunch out on the lake. Pete makes the best brats on a little grill that is attached to his boat. We ended the day eating some good food in a little bar and grille near Pete’s trailer.
The rest of the weekend was awesome. It was all about seeing what people who live in a small town do on the weekends. So, Mary took us to Aberdeen on Saturday for a “girls day out”. We started the day by stopping at a little boutique in Roscoe and did some shopping. The boutique had the most adorable things, and it was nice to give back to a small community business. They even had great coffee—a must for me if I’m going to enjoy a full day of shopping! Once we arrived in Aberdeen, we stopped and had lunch at a local restaurant. Then, we went to Storybook Land and explored that for a while. It was such a fun little park and it was a beautiful day to be outside! The rest of the afternoon was filled with shopping and pedicures. For dinner, we met Doug at the Wakeside Bar and Grille on Lake Mina. It was fun to just sit and relax outside while we ate and enjoyed the wonderful view. It was the perfect end to the weekend and got us excited for our last week in Bowdle.
I cannot believe that it is the last week that I get with Brooke in Bowdle! Our time here has really gone by fast and we have had so much fun together. On a few days this week, we had the opportunity to go to the administration office and learn about the different positions there. We had the opportunity to learn about insurance, billing, coding, medical records, and how to run a hospital. My favorite person to talk to was Sandy, the CEO of the hospital. It was interesting to learn about healthcare from a “business” point of view and how things have changed over the years. Monday night the clinic staff invited us to attend the local youth baseball games with them so Brooke and I went to that. It was fun getting to know the staff’s kids and hang out with the town! Later Monday night, we had an amazing dinner at Doug and Mary’s house. Mary cooked the walleye that we had caught on our trip…it was so good!
Tuesday morning we headed with Melanie to Ipswich for some more WIC certifications. Then, we got to go to a Hutterite Colony with her to administer some vaccinations. Brooke and I had never been to a Hutterite Colony before so that was very exciting for us. The rest of the day was spent in clinic with Amanda. The next day was pretty much all clinic time with Amanda. On Thursday, Brooke and I got to do our final presentation to the entire staff. It was fun to talk to them about our time in Bowdle and how much we have learned. Some people would have gotten nervous for a big presentation like that, but the staff here in Bowdle are so nice and fun that it was no problem! We also got to provide them with lunch and to just hang out and talk. As for the rest of the day, that time was spent in clinic. On Friday, I took the day off so that I could go to a wedding so I missed the last day of the REHPS program. It’s a good thing that I get another week in Bowdle next week as I complete my PA rotations!