REHPS 2020 Shannon Katz

I feel so privileged to have been selected to participate in the REHPS program in Huron, SD at the Huron Regional Medical Center. From the outstanding community teamwork throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to the friendly smiles exchanged between all HRMC staff, partaking in the REHPS experience has nothing but exceeded my expectations.

Going into the start of this experience I was not sure what to anticipate due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of positive COVID cases Beadle county had been experiencing. I did not want to put myself at risk of being exposed. However, being a healthcare professional in training, I knew this was what it was going to be like in reality, when I would be practicing. So, I knew I had to jump on the occasion! The amount of helpful hands throughout the community that willing assisted was incredible to witness. I had never thought at 21 years of age a pandemic was something I would be placed on the frontline for. Fortunately, the opportunity to engage in the REHPS program during the COVID-19 pandemic was a magnificent learning experience.

Aside from the pandemic, witnessing firsthand the work that is done inside a rural community hospital was remarkable. The flexibility and patience of the healthcare professionals to do different tasks each day is surreal.  Not one healthcare professional was stuck doing what they “specialized” in, and that amazed me. In doing this, I loved how every healthcare professional expanded their skill set and knowledge every day!

In my opinion, rural healthcare is what keeps the world spinning. Without the tremendous work ethic and brilliant brains the rural health care workers have, modern healthcare would not be as advanced. Thanks to this experience, I now have a new perspective on how critical rural healthcare is. In the future, I can now envision myself working in a rural area and loving every minute of it. This experience has given me a glimpse of what it means to never work a day in your life due to loving your profession.