Dani Bruscher
Week 1 in Webster

My arrival in Webster was a chilly one as the air was filled with snow. However, I was greeted with a warm welcome from the hospital. I also met my partner, Susan Wik, who is going to be starting her first year of medical school in July. My home away from home for the next four weeks is a very spacious hospital room. Monday was filled with orientation, meeting staff members, and a tour of the town. Webster has a lot of character and is a very up-and-coming town! After our tour, we finished the day following Cheryl at the clinic. We were able to watch and participate in a few well-baby check-ups, among other things. Tuesday, Susan and I spent the morning shadowing nephrology outreach from Sioux Falls. It was very interesting and educational as I was able to apply and expand my knowledge of renally dosed medication. In the afternoon, we shadowed physical therapy. Seeing how medications play a role in physical therapy was a great experience. That evening, Cheri took us out for supper and we chatted about our experience thus far. On Wednesday, cardiology outreach came for the morning from Aberdeen. Susan and I were able to experience telemedicine with Dr. Sharma from Aberdeen. We also watched an echocardiogram and a few other types of ultrasounds. After that, we spent some time with cardiac rehab. The afternoon was spent shadowing Lola in the clinic. Lola was very welcoming and did an excellent job of explaining what she was doing. After that, we went to a Key Club meeting with Lola. Key Club is a high school club focused on community service. On Thursday, we started off shadowing orthopedic outreach from Aberdeen. It was interesting learning the medications given for pain and the patients’ options for different diagnoses. We finished the morning following radiology. That afternoon, we were able to enjoy the community golf course in Webster. It was a great experience to get to know a few community members and Josh, the radiology manager. After golfing, we accompanied Angie, the hospital pharmacist, to some community soccer games. Then we were fortunate enough to spend time with her family and enjoy a nice supper. We were also very honored to meet and talk with Mayor Mike that night! Friday morning was spent at the local retail pharmacy. It was very helpful to see how a rural retail pharmacy operates. The afternoon was spent shadowing Dr. Gravley. It was a very busy afternoon as she was on-call for the ER. Dr. Gravley was an excellent teacher. So far, my first week in Webster has been very eventful and I have met a lot of great people. The community was extremely welcoming and everyone has been exceptionally nice! I am excited to continue meeting community members and to become more familiar with Webster.

Week 2
Tuesday – May 26th

  • I came back from a long weekend to work with Dr. Christensen. He is a surgeon from Watertown who does outreach in Webster. The morning was filled with colonoscopies and EGDs. It was amazing to see how experienced Dr. Christensen was in this area. He made it look very easy.  
  • We worked right through lunch and saw his patients in the clinic. It was very obvious in the way that he communicated with his patients that he cares a lot about them. During one of his procedures in the late afternoon, I decided to add some excitement to the room. (Skipping lunch came back to haunt me as I had not eaten breakfast and later realized I did not eat supper the night before due to a late lunch.) I passed out in the operating room but quickly came around and was fine after eating some toast! I learned an important lesson – one should always make enough time for breakfast, especially if you plan on working through lunch.

Wednesday – May 27th

  • Started off the day following Dr. Gravley on rounds in the nursing home. We checked on some patients to see if their medications needed to be adjusted or if anything needed to be added.
  • The afternoon was spent with Dr. Amin who specializes in oncology. He was very informative and I learned a lot about the different stages of cancer and how it is diagnosed.
  • Dave and Heather took us to Eden for their famous wing night. The wings were delicious! I had a great time getting to know Dave and his wife. They also took us to get ice cream on our way back. It was a fun night!

 Thursday – May 28th

  • Susan and I ventured to Aberdeen for training on our project.
  • After training, a few of the other REHPS students and I went out to eat. It was a lot of fun comparing our experiences thus far and sharing some of the exciting things we have done.
  • After lunch, Susan and I went to State Street Pharmacy and visited with Victor who is a pharmacist there. He explained the compounding part of their pharmacy. It was very informational and interesting, as I have never worked in a compounding pharmacy. He was a very good teacher and I enjoyed visiting with him.
  • I came back to Webster and was on call. We had 2 ER visits. One of them was a laceration and I got to help Cheryl suture the wound!

 Friday – May 29th

  • We went with Melissa, an occupational therapist, to a house call. The patient we saw had a rare genetic disease. It was very interesting to see how Melissa worked with the patient. She explained the activities that she did and also gave us a lot of background on the patient. It was inspirational to hear how much improvement the patient had made since Melissa started working with the patient.
  • After we got back, we went to the nursing home to help a resident with rehab. Susan and I spent a lot of time visiting with the other residents who had come in to work out. It was a lot of fun! We got to know some of their stories and they made the morning fly by. We also spent time with Kyle and Dave in physical therapy.
  • The afternoon was spent with Cheryl in the clinic. She taught us how to suture and let us practice on oranges. It was a very exciting experience and our oranges look very good! We also sat in on a few of her clinic visits. We saw a diabetic patient and Cheryl let us perform the foot examination. Cheryl also stayed after her clinic visits and taught us a lot about doing a physical examination on a patient. She is an excellent teacher and provided us with a lot of tips on how to make it easier to examine little children!

Saturday – May 30th

  • I met Kirsten who is the daughter of a nurse in the hospital. Kirsten did REHPS two summers ago and just graduated Pharmacy School. We toured Day County and ended at the Purple Cow. Their ice cream was delicious! It was very nice getting to know Kirsten. We talked about a lot of things included her rotations for pharmacy school as well as her experience with REHPS. She also offered to take Susan and I horseback riding while we are here.
  • Susan and I went to the movie Mall Cop 2. Webster has a nice movie theater that is reasonably priced.

Sunday – May 31st

  • Susan and I attended mass together and the bishop was here for conformation. It was very nice to see a lot of the community members attending mass.
  • We had a few ER visits during the afternoon. One patient came in with a very rare disease that we researched while the nurses were gathering information. It was exciting to learn about a new disease. It was also the first time that Dr. Bynum had seen this disease. This goes to show that there is always more to learn in the medical field!

Week 3
Monday – June 1st

  • Spent the morning with the hospital pharmacist, Angie. It was very interesting to see her role at this hospital since she is the only pharmacist and works part time. Her days are busy doing normal pharmacist duties along with a lot of administrative duties.
  • Over lunch, Susan and I talked at the Kiwanis meeting. We shared a little about ourselves and then talked about our program. It was exciting to see how interested they were in the program!
  • The afternoon was spent in the nursing home. I talked with the pharmacist who does the monthly review of all of the patients’ medications. She explained her process and told me what she looks for. Not only does she look at the medications that the patient is currently taking, she also chooses one specific area to look at each month to make sure nothing has been missed. For example, this month she was focusing on blood pressure readings and oxygen levels. If she notices any problems, she alerts the nurses and then checks the next month to make sure everything was taken care of. I also spent a little time following a nurse. It was very nice to see the connection the nurses make with the nursing home residents.
  • The night nurses in the hospital found out just how accident-prone I am as I injured myself working out.

Tuesday – June 2nd

  • I started off the day visiting Dave in physical therapy since I hurt my back. It was very nice of Dave to fit me into his schedule!
  • Afterwards, I spent time with Dr. Torness, a podiatrist, from Watertown. My time with him was cut short as I almost passed out in an examination room from my back pain. I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon in my room trying to move as little as possible! However, in the short time I spent with Dr. Torness, I was very impressed by how he interacted with his patients. It is easy to see that he truly cares about each patient and wants to help them get better as quick as possible.
  • In the afternoon, Susan and I interviewed Mayor Mike for our REHPS project.

Wednesday – June 3rd

  • We started off the morning interviewing an elementary school teacher for our REHPS project.
  • Susan and I spent the morning following inspectors from Sanford who were doing a mock inspection of the nursing home. I was amazed at some of the laws and regulations that the nursing home must meet.
  • After lunch, Susan and I interviewed an employee from CorTrust Bank for our REHPS project.
  • After the interview, Susan and I spent time with the hospital nurses. I was blown away by the amount of paperwork that they must do for each patient. They also told us the process of admitting a patient and the rules on how long a patient can stay in the hospital in Webster.

Thursday – June 4th

  • I spent the rest of the week in Pierre getting ready for my big brother’s wedding!

Week 4
Monday – June 8

  • I spent the morning with the ladies in the lab. They did an excellent job explaining all of the tests that they perform and the action they take depending on the results. They also drew my blood and let me run the tests on my own blood. I had a lot of fun doing all of the tests and was glad all of the results came back good.
  • Interviewed a member of the school district for our project. He was very knowledgeable and did an excellent job explaining their ratings.

Tuesday – June 9

  • Dr. Werth, a surgeon, came to Webster for outreach. I watched numerous colonoscopies and he also had quite a few clinic visits. He was very efficient in his work.
  • I spent the afternoon with Dr. Quam, an optometrist. I had a very good afternoon with him. Dr. Quam allowed me to view a lot of things and was very good at explaining what I was looking at.
  • After work, a bunch of the clinic staff met Susan and I at the Galley for supper. I had a ton of fun hanging out with everyone and saying our goodbyes.

Wednesday – June 10

  • Susan and I spent the day with Dr. Sharma, a cardiologist. He had a very busy schedule so he was not able to teach us as much as he would have liked to. However, in between appointments he did his best to explain the next visit and give us some insight on what was happening to the patient.
  • For supper, Ashley and her husband, Cory, took us out. We ate at Bitter Lake Lodge and then we went fishing. I had a blast fishing even though we got rained on. It was definitely a fun night!

Thursday – June 11

  • Our last morning was spent with Dr. Mantone, an orthopedic surgeon from Aberdeen. I spent the morning with his physician’s assistant. He saw all of the patients before Dr. Mantone did and recorded their progress since their last visit. It was interesting to see how they worked together.
  • Over lunch, Susan and I had our exit interview with some of the staff in Webster and Cheri! It was a fun time but I was sad to say goodbye to everyone. I had an excellent time in Webster and really enjoyed my time there.