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Winner, South Dakota
Week 1

This has been an exciting first week in Winner, South Dakota! I have met many wonderful, friendly people who have made me feel very welcome. My first experience when I arrived in Winner last Sunday evening some people on main street were waving at me as I drove down the street looking for where I was supposed to be staying at. I had thought what a friendly town, later to find out that I was driving the wrong way on a one-way street which is main street! :o } The residents here are friendly and were just trying to let me know I was going the wrong way down the street!

I have had the amazing opportunity to be in surgery with the very talented surgical staff at Winner Regional Hospital. I watched a baby come into the world, a laproscopic cholecystectomy and endoscopic procedures.

I have spent two days this last week in the Winner Medical Clinic with the very talented clinic staff and had the opportunity to participate in rural healthcare. I have learned a lot this week and realize there is much more yet to learn!

I spent one day in the pharmacy with the very talented pharmacy staff at Winner Regional Hospital. I learned about policies and procedures regarding pharmaceuticals and medication reconciliation.

I spent on day in the outpatient clinic with a urology specialist and his staff. I learned much about urology with emphasis on to remember to do your Kegal exercises no matter how old you are!

I have enjoyed spending time in this peaceful, serene rural town and look forward to this  week! If you have the chance visit the restored movie theater on main street it is charming!

Week 2

My adventure in Winner, SD continued this past week. I had the wonderful opportunity to work with one of the providers in the clinic seeing patients in the clinic and in the emergency room. This was a great learning opportunity regarding my future position as family nurse practitioner! I also had the opportunity to work in the outpatient clinic with an orthopedic surgeon and seeing patients in the outpatient clinic that were coming to the clinic for outpatient infusion therapy. I really enjoyed the outpatient eye clinic day working with patients coming in for cataract surgery and the opportunity to go into surgery and watch a cataract removal. This was a great experience following the patient from admission through surgery and then discharging them home. I have found the people in Winner and the staff at the hospital to be very hospitable and welcoming. I plan to return this fall to Winner to complete my clinical rotation with the providers in the clinic. I have enjoyed my time here in this quaint rural town that offers state of the art healthcare.

Week 3

This is my third week in Winner, South Dakota! The time has gone by so fast it doesn’t seem like we have been here this long yet. I had the opportunity to work with a cardiologist from Sioux Falls, SD early in the week. He saw patients in the outpatient clinic and at the Winner Regional Hospital. It was interesting to watch how stress tests were completed and discuss various cardiac modalities with him.

I also had the opportunity to work in the Winner Regional Medical Clinic with some of the physicians and one of the nurse practitioners. This was a great experience to see rural health care at its finest. I was able to see some patients and learn more about the EPIC electronic charting system. I learned about the differences in rural health care reimbursement and more about how Winner Regional hospital is a critical access hospital for this region that provides state of the art healthcare. We discussed the different levels of care within the hospital and I had the opportunity to spend some time in the long term care (nursing home) area.

I would like to thank the providers and staff that have shared their time and expertise with me this week. Winner has touched me in a variety of ways and enriched my life and educational journey. Everyone has gone out of their way here to make me feel that I am part of their working family and has been so friendly. This has meant a lot to me.

I had the opportunity to visit with some of the Winner residents this past weekend as a couple of residents were celebrating their birthdays with a local band on Main Street. I also had the opportunity to visit with a long-term resident of Winner this past weekend who had recently lost her life partner suddenly to cancer. We had a good discussion on grief and loss and how important it is to keep moving forward even when we are hurting from such a significant loss. Her words of wisdom were to appreciate the people that surround you and to always be kind because you never know when today may be your last day on this earth. I will never forget her.

I also had time this past week to spend time at the local city park which is absolutely beautiful. The outdoor movie theater opened here this weekend but I did not have the opportunity to go. I can’t believe we are coming up on our last week here. It has been a privilege to be able to spend time in this amazing community.

Week 4

This last week in Winner, SD has been bitter sweet since I have loved the time that I have spent here but the time has come to return home and move forward with my graduate education and life. I could easily find myself living and working in this wonderful community. I do plan to return to Winner for their upcoming health fair and in September for my clinical rotation.

After discussing some project ideas with Betty Tideman at the Winner Regional Medical Clinic, one of her staff thought it would be a great idea to speak to the community truck drivers since the Department of Transportation regulations had changed. A big “Thank you!” to Betty and her staff for the great idea. I continued working on the community project this week. A couple of weeks ago I contacted the Institute of Aging and ordered some educational materials for the project related to exercise and getting fit. I called and spoke with the Director at the Department of Transportation (DOT) and her staff who were absolutely wonderful to work with. They provided information for the group presentation including a DOT power point presentation for truck drivers related to their medical requirements in order to drive for their routine physical and how medical examiners will now need to be certified by May 21, 2014 in order to provide the DOT medical examinations. If you know of any trucking companies or truck drivers, please pass this information on to them since this will become effective as of May 21, 2014. The director has mentioned that she has had difficulty passing the information on to rural areas.

The opportunity was provided to present this project to the Winner Regional Hospital staff and city officials who reside in Winner, South Dakota. This was a great opportunity to network with others in the community. I left feeling that we had made a difference with our project.

I wish to thank the numerous people who made me feel so at home and part of your community during my stay in Winner, South Dakota. You have touched my heart and enriched my life and educational journey. God Bless!