Haylee Erickson
First Week at Winner

My first week in Winner, SD has been unbelievable already! Winner Regional Hospital has greeted us with open arms. I have gotten to see some things I wouldn’t necessarily get to see in a bigger city. I recently have observed some doctors that get to see the elderly, youth, infants, and mid-age adults. It is so interesting to see the diversity of patients you get to see. I got to see some interesting things such as ultrasounds and got to observe a rock being removed from a child’s nose! You know what they say… “kids will be kids.”

I also have spent most of my time in the laboratory in the hospital this week. Since I will be graduating in 2017, I got to observe some phlebotomy as well as draw a patient! I am proud to say I was successful. I also have been able to run some simple tests for the lab as well as plate some quality control organisms. The laboratory staff has been very kind and helpful and it gives me another view of what I learn in the classroom and apply it in “real life” situations.

Winner is such a welcoming rural community. Ali and I have already went to the local Chinese restaurant, gone to a baseball game at Leahy Bowl and attended a high school track meet. We also got spoiled by having a bakery right next to where we are staying. The donuts are SOOO GOOD! This week was also healthcare employee appreciation week at the hospital, so we also were spoiled with treats all week like popcorn and other delicious desserts. I am loving my experience thus far.

Week 2

Winner, Winner, chicken dinner! I must say I have been so spoiled. This week I shadowed many providers. Each with a great respect for what medical lab science does to help assist them in any way. Everyone of the Winner Regional Healthcare staff have a positive and upmost respect for each other and appreciate each other’s work.

I have gotten to gain some experience as to what the ER deals with. For example, I learned that some things I cannot handle, such as a bloody nose which sent me to the ER waiting room (little light headed!). I have also done some traveling outside of Winner to outreach clinics where I got to experience chronic pain patients and how healthcare providers are trying to treat the patients with chronic pain and how to deal with abuse of pain medications. It has opened my eyes to yet another view of medicine. I really enjoyed going to the outreach clinics because it has shown how important and valuable the providers are for patients, in that area of healthcare. I learned that many of the providers go out of their way to assist patients in getting healthcare. For example, a provider told me they had driven a patient in need to the hospital in Winner, from Mission, just to get the correct treatment for their illness due to no transportation.

This week I also got to tag along with a RN that does Home Health. It was awesome to have experienced that. The patients that receive home health expressed that they are extremely grateful. I didn’t even know that this service existed, so I was very fortunate to spend my time learning more about it as well as seeing how the RN’s patients were so very grateful for the RN’s services as well.

Highlights of the week: I got to see the birth of a baby! Went to The Jungle Book with Ali. Saturday we went to Church and got to spend the night at Spring Fest which was a lot of fun!! Ali and I danced, ate, and listened to some great music the band played! This community is a Winner in my book! :-D

Week Three

This week was a shorter one for me but I got to see some patients at outreach clinics. I saw the lab in the outreach clinic which was a small room with some instruments and others they must send out. I got to see and assist with a couple cross matches for patients needing blood!

It was also an eventful weekend. Ali & I got to go golfing with a community member for the afternoon & we went to another movie! I also got a refreshing lemonade on my run around Winner from the local group of kiddos! Made my week!

Week Four

My last week in Winner was great! I got to run more tests in the lab and I even got to practice drawing blood with a butterfly needle. I also went for one last good run around town. I went to a local flower shop & bought flowers to put on my grandfather’s grave for Memorial Day. Ali & I also got to go to the awesome drive in movie theater! I received a great opportunity this summer to see what a rural healthcare setting is like and how it takes a team effort to make it great. It is an experience I will never forget.