Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Med students participate in Avera eCARE simulation

Published: Mar. 30, 2017 at 6:49 PM CDT
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Telemedicine is forever changing the future of healthcare. In rural South Dakota, and all over our region, Avera eCARE is making it possible for emergency department physicians to be virtually bedside from hundreds or even thousands of miles away – to help rural providers with anything from small lacerations to full-on trauma.

USD Sanford School of Medicine students participated in a telemedicine simulation on a ‘Sim Truck’ to see how the technology works.

You are never alone, even in rural South Dakota, thanks to Avera eCARE. That’s what first year USD Sanford School of Medicine students are learning from Avera eCARE Medical Director Kelly Rhone.

“So I graduated from this med school in 2001. At that time if you went into rural medicine, you were really alone and so a big part of why we do this with first year medical students is we catch them early and really show them that if they want to go back to their home town, if they want to practice in rural South Dakota, or one of our neighboring states, they’re not going to be alone. At the touch of a button, we can be right at the bedside with them. So when I work at McKennan and we have several doctors working around a patient, this is the same thing but we just do everything virtually,” said Rhone.

“Seeing the facility, seeing what they do – it’s incredible the amount of patients they can reach, who they help,” said Chandler Nielsen, who is in her first year of med school at USD Sanford School of Medicine.

From Sioux Falls, Nielsen plans to practice in South Dakota.

“No matter what specialty I choose, it’ll be incorporated some way or form, especially in South Dakota, because again there’s so many rural patients I will hopefully be able to treat. So it’s exciting. It’s exciting to see the new technology that’s getting incorporated and how we can use that to treat patients,” said Nielsen.

“It’s so fun to have these young future physicians here and really look at them to see themselves on one side of the camera or the other someday and really just giving care through a different way than what we traditionally taught. If we can get more students to decide to stay local, that just really helps our state and it’s really a huge mission of our medical school so we want to stay true to that,” said Rhone.

This life-changing technology is provided by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Since it was founded in 2004, Avera eCARE has provided care to more than one million patients.

For more information, just call 877-AT-AVERA.

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