First Week in Hot Springs
We have just completed our first week out in Hot Springs, SD. We are working with all departments at the Fall River Health Services facility in town. This is a very nice facility that was recently built in the community and is home to the clinic, emergency department, inpatient hospital, and skilled nursing facility. It is wonderful for this small community to have so many resources within the one facility. I have had the pleasure of working with their physicians, nurse practitioners, and nursing staff during this first week. Mariah and I also met with many of the department managers to develop a better idea of the multiple tasks that many employees hold in a rural facility, such as theirs. Another great asset for this community is that the providers travel to other long term care facilities to see patients in their home setting. I was able to visit Pine Hills Assisted Living Community and the State’s Veteran Home. Both of these facilities are also new within the past couple years and equipped with beautiful space and features for the residents. Each make wonderful places for the elders within the community to call home.
After finishing our third week of this program, it has overall been a very thrilling experience. The time has passed by extremely quickly and every person, department, and facility we have worked with and met have been helpful and full of knowledge. I was able to spend a bit more time with the pharmacy department. I have worked with many medications in my career as a registered nurse and studied them again during my graduate level education; however, it was fun to work with the pharmacy to understand their work in prescribing and dispensing of medications. Another great experience this week was receiving a tour of the Hot Springs Veteran’s Association. The facility’s patient advocate gave us a tour and informed us that their “community” and services have diminished greatly since their original flourishing campus. Despite this, the VA continues to offer a wide variety of services and amenities for the area’s veterans. I had never viewed a VA campus before and did not realize that it entailed much more than just a healthcare center. The Hot Springs VA has a clinic, outpatient center, hospital, community living, health management & treatment programs, housing, job training & employment opportunities, a national cemetery, entertainment area, and much more. It is reassuring to see and hear the staff happy to be given the opportunity to provide for these men and women who have served our country.