Week 1 at Winner
I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and was able to get acclimated to the new area and hospital. On Wednesday, I hit the ground running by being involved in a variety of surgeries in the morning with Dr. Wagner. In the afternoon, I was in clinic with Becky Olson, Nurse Practitioner seeing patients. My Thursday and Friday were spent mostly with Dr. Taylor, a family medicine physician. In the mornings, I was included in meetings where members of most health disciplines came together to discuss each inpatient and their progress. For the rest of the days we bounced around from clinic to hospital to see his patients with a variety of pathologies. It was great to be able to see how family medicine physicians have a great scope of practice and are able to provide top-notch care in rural communities. Overall, this week has been amazing and the community is very welcoming. I even stopped in to City Hall to introduce myself and everyone in the office was pleasant. I am looking forward to another great 3 weeks in Winner with the REHPS program!
Week 2 in my Winner REHPS experience has come to a close. It has been jam packed with fun and experience. My Monday started off with spending time with Dr. Moench, a cardiologist from Sioux Falls who does Outreach clinic in Winner usually twice a month. I was able to practice my clinical skills such as listening to heart and breath sounds on every patient. It was great to see how specialists from Sioux Falls can still provide care to Winner without inconveniencing the community member by having to travel long distances. On Tuesday and Wednesday I spent time in the clinic and hospital/ER with Dr. Inveiss, a Family Medicine Physician, and Erin Tobin, a nurse practitioner. These were actually two relatively slow days in the hospital, but that gave us time to visit with the current inpatients and provide more personal care. Erin and I spent over a half hour in one patient’s room visiting and walking around the hospital as it is part of her recovery from a knee replacement.
Thursday was a very unique experience. I traveled to White River and Mission with Dr. Teresa Marts. This was a great overall experience because I was able to see even smaller communities with a mostly Native American population. These were mostly obstetric patients. The best experience was being able to measure fundal height and finding the babies heart rate through a fetal doppler. I actually was pretty good at it after a few tries!
This weekend was filled with experiencing more of what Winner has to offer outside of the hospital. Levi and I tried the local dining at Sargents, The Wild West Grille, and also Shirley’s Diner. Levi, myself, and Keely (FARM program medical student) went golfing on Saturday and we all struggled through the 9 hole course. We had so much fun that Levi and I went again Sunday! We are both absolutely terrible, but still plan on going again to hopefully improve.
I am looking forward to becoming more involved in the community in the next 2 weeks and continue participating in hospital activities.
The week started out with some excitement with Dr. MacNamara, a high risk OB physician. I was able to experience my first ultrasound of a baby as well as learn more about pregnancy and the risks that may occur.
Levi and I spent most of Tuesday visiting with the Chamber of Commerce, the Superintendent, and the Principal of the Elementary school about our community health assessment. It was very interesting to gain different perspectives of the community. We actually went to the Principal’s house that night for dinner because his wife, Sharon Naasz, is in charge of our REHPS experience. I must say it was great to have a home cooked meal.
On Wednesday, I tagged along with a home health nurse for the day. We were able to visit about 6 patients in various communities such as Gregory, Burke, and Witten. This is a whole different side of health care that I had not seen before. It is such an asset to provide healthcare to community members that would otherwise not have easy access to it.
Thursday was one of the most exciting days that I have had in this experience. This day was spent in the Outreach clinic with Dr. Hafner, an Ophthalmologist, and his staff. This was a day where every patient was a cataract patient and surgery was blocked off that day for it. Levi and I were able to follow patients from the beginning of their care to when then got to go home. I even started my first IV! The entire health care team worked as a well refined unit and made the patient’s experience as quick and painless as possible. It was a privilege to see health care at its finest and also be a part of it.
Friday was spent with Dr. Tony Berg, a family medicine physician, on outreach to Burke for the morning and then the Winner clinic that afternoon. After work, Levi and I went to the local drive-in theater and saw Mall Cop 2…. well kind of because the car battery died and we had to guess what had happened the rest of the movie. I must say that even though we missed a lot of the movie, the food and milkshakes made up for it.
This experience has gone by so fast and I’m excited to see what the final week has in store for us!
This week has been a bitter-sweet one. My time has ended here and Winner and it was difficult to say goodbye to the community as well as all of the people that had graciously accepted Levi and I into their lives. I will quickly recap the week’s events.
On Monday, I spent the day with Dr. Hendersen as we travelled to White River/Mission again. The day was spent visiting multiple OB/GYN patients. I think by now I am a pro at finding fetal heart sounds!
Tuesday, I spent the afternoon with Dr. Anderson, an OB/GYN specialist that comes to Winner on outreach. I was able to see my first ultrasound of a baby in person! It was a great experience to share with the patient’s, as they see their baby.
On Wednesday, I spent the morning with Dr. Wagner in surgery again and saw a Colonoscopy, Upper Esophageal Scope, and a Hernia repair.
Throughout the week, Levi and I had scurried to put our final touches on our presentation and experience as much as we could of the community. And then the presentation day came on Thursday and it was a complete success! We had a great showing of 20-30 people who seemed to be there for more than just the free food! I was surprised and elated about how many questions they had for us after the presentation. We were even interviewed for the local newspaper and they wrote an article about us.
Now that this great experience has come to a close, I would like to thank the entire health care staff at Winner Regional and also the Winner community as a whole. They were extremely welcoming and made us feel at home and apart of something. Even though it was a short 4 weeks, REHPS is an experience that I will carry throughout my career in medicine.