Philip, South Dakota
Week 1

My first week in Philip was nothing short of interesting and filled with a variety of activities. From the moment I arrived Sunday night and during the activities I participated in during the week, I met genuine, caring, pleasant individuals. My first morning in Philip was spent getting to know the town. I received a tour of the hospital facilities as well as a tour of the town. That afternoon was spent in the clinic following Dr. Holman. Tuesday I spent time in the x-ray department. An interesting x-ray I was able to see was a lady with a severe case of scoliosis. Wednesday was spent outside of the hospital facility. My partner Tandis and I were able to go to the only local pharmacy in town, Zeeb Pharmacy.

Thursday was a wild day not only in the hospital but also with a storm that came through Philip. I stayed busy on Thursday as I followed the ultrasound department which was filled back to back all day long. During the middle of the last ultrasound for the day, a lady came in and told us we needed to get in the hallway because the tornado whistles were going off. We hurried to take care of our patient and got him into the hall with the rest of the patients. After the storm passed, we finished the ultrasound and went home for the day.

Friday was not near as crazy as Thursday. Part of the day was spent at the Assisted Living facility in Philip and the other half of the day was spent planning our community projects. At the Assisted Living facility my partner and I served lunch to the residents, ate lunch with them, cleaned up afterwards, and spent time talking to the residents. Everyone was very willing to talk and interact with us. We received tours of some of their rooms and heard stories from others. Tandis and I were invited back by the residents, “anytime we have free time or want to talk”. Friday night our preceptor, Jennifer Henrie, invited Tandis and me to the community play. This was a great way to get involved in the community and also see some of the talent in the community.

The weekend was pretty calm as far as patients coming into the hospital but was not calm when it came to the weather. Saturday night another storm came through Philip and we spent some time without electricity. We finally decided to just go to bed and let the storm pass. Sunday afternoon our preceptor, Jennifer Henrie, graciously hosted a barbeque in honor of Tandis and me. Individuals from the community were invited to join us and we were able to interact outside of the hospital setting. The barbeque was a lot of fun and showed us how generous individuals in a small community are.

Week 2
My second week in Philip was again filled with a variety of activities. Monday morning my partner Tandis and I spent some time in the emergency room taking care of an elderly woman. After this, we spent time in the laboratory department. Here we learned what the laboratory does with the blood samples and about the different machines they use. That afternoon was spent working on getting everything ready for our community projects that are quickly approaching.

Tuesday morning we headed to Kadoka, a small town about twenty minutes away from Philip, with the home health ladies. We visited a variety of patients on home health and took care of the patients’ medications for them. That afternoon we headed back to Philip to work in the eye clinic. There were many typical cases that came in that day such as regular eye exams and patients that had cataract surgery. We also had an interesting case where a male had rubbed his eye not realizing he still had chemicals on his hand.

We started Wednesday morning off by being on the local radio talking about the REHPS program and the community projects we have lined up. That afternoon we went to the local community health department and learned about family planning, WIC, immunizations, and much more that community health has to offer.

Thursday was spent doing a variety of activities. I spent the morning doing mammograms with a lady who comes from out of town. After that I spent a little time in the radiology department and then spent time in the medical records department. The end of my day was spent with my preceptor, Jennifer Henrie. We drew and then painted a sign for the Philip Health Services Center. This sign was used this weekend in the parade for festival days.

Friday morning my partner Tandis and I headed back to Kadoka. Here we met Terry Henrie, PA and spent the morning in the clinic with him. Around noon I ended my week as I had to head back to Sioux Falls for a wedding.

Week 3
This was my third week in Philip. One of the events that took up much of our week was completing our community projects. The first community project we completed was a “Sun Safety” day. Tandis and I went to the local community pool and taught the children about sun safety. We also had some projects for the children. The first project included making bracelets out of UV light sensitive beads. The beads started out white in color and would then change to bright colors when the children were in the sun. The purpose of these beads was to teach the children to put on sunscreen when the beads were bright in color. Our second project at the pool was making snow cones. Not only was this fun for the kids, but it also helped make them want to learn about what we were teaching. The children also enjoyed the end of the day when we drew names and awarded some prizes.

The second community project we completed we called our “Three-in-One” project. The three parts of this project were a drug-take-back, blood pressure screening, and blood glucose screening. We completed this project at the local pharmacy and had the opportunity to interact with and screen about 35 individuals. We also discussed with patients what they can do to improve their health and how to lower their blood pressure and blood sugar.

On Wednesday Tandis and I had a presentation for people within the community and individuals we have worked with during our time in Philip. During this presentation, we discussed what we have done during our time in Philip and also talked about our community projects. We were then invited to take the afternoon off and went boating on a lake near Philip with our preceptor and her family.

Thursday I spent most of the day in the radiology department. I took part in completing DEXA scans to test the density of bones and the potential for osteoporosis which is done once a month at this facility. I also looked at different x-rays that were taken during the day. Towards the end of the day I started following one of the physician assistants and saw patients with him.

Friday I spent the day in the clinic and was also pulled into the emergency department at times. I saw many patients with a variety of symptoms. There were three patients who received lacerations. On one of these patients I had my first hands on experience in closing a wound. Overall, it was a fun day in which I learned a lot.

Week 4
This was my fourth and final week in Philip. Monday started out in the hospital pharmacy where I followed Milo Zeeb. He not only owns and runs the local downtown pharmacy but also runs the hospital and nursing home pharmacies. Then for a majority of the day I followed Terry Henrie who is a physician’s assistant. He taught me what it is like to do his job as he allowed me to consult patients by myself and discuss their chief complaint. Terry would then join the patient and I to discuss what brought the patient in and what needed to be done for the patient. My evening ended at the Henrie’s home where they invited me to join their family for supper.

Tuesday I spent the morning in the nursing home and the afternoon in the radiology department. During my time in the nursing home, I primarily assisted in the set-up and passing of medications to the residents. My time with the radiology department was spent viewing x-rays and watching cat scans. I also found out what happens when a patient is allergic to the contrast during a cat scan.

Wednesday morning I headed to the library to participate in some activities with local children. I also used the UV light sensitive beads we had left from our community project and made bracelets with the children. We talked about sun safety and I handed out sunscreen samples. From there I headed back to the clinic and followed another physician’s assistant, Janell Gerberding, for the afternoon.

Thursday was another day spent in the clinic following Terry Henrie. It ended up being a very busy day with many patients coming into the clinic and the emergency room. I ended my day by going out to lunch with my preceptor, Jennifer Henrie, and then said good-bye to all the people I had met during my time in Philip.