Small Town, Big Job

Through my internship with Kiowa County Hospital District, I have been learning about what work and effort goes into rural healthcare facilities. I have been shadowing multiple nurses and seeing the extent of their duties at the hospital. I am most surprised by the differences between each nurse I work with. Each one has a different routine and different methods of completing their duties. Weisbrod Memorial Hospital is referred to in two parts, the north end, which houses the emergency room and acute care rooms, and the south end, which is home to several long-term patients. Since the facility is so small, staff members must be willing to compromise and take on multiple roles to keep the hospital afloat. Nurses often will interchange between the north and south ends, regardless of their preferences. I was hesitant about exploring the long-term care side of healthcare, but I am very pleased I got the opportunity to experience something outside of my comfort zone and become more comfortable and more willing to expand on it in the future. As I continue this internship, I have set three goals for myself to help me measure my growth this summer. I hope to increase my communication skills by speaking up to patients without hesitation. When a patients asks me to do something I am not qualified to do, I often become nervous and look at the charge nurse for recognition, however, by the end of the summer I hope to gain the confidence to say, “I am sorry, I cannot do that for you, but I will find someone that can.” Networking skills have always been hard for me, but this summer I hope to connect with three of my coworkers using common interests and pleasant conversation. Lastly, I would like to expand on my leadership skills by sharing my experiences with my peers and community members and I hope to encourage two students to apply for an internship through Ogallala Commons next year. Until next time,

Maura Smith, Wiley CO

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