Rondel Silbernagel, Rita from the Billings Clinic, Mark Goldy, Pam Adams and Casey from the Billings Clinic

We are ecstatic to have received so many submissions for our Celebrating Montana Healthcare Careers: National Rural Health Day Contest this year. We would like to recognize the students who participated in this contest, and the healthcare workers they interviewed. Each week we will post five submissions. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Mckayla Maciel

Name: Rondel Silbernagel, RN at St. Vincent Health Care

Student: Mckayla Maciel, a junior who attends the Billings Career Center

Challenges: The challenges of a rural community would be that the technology is not as advanced and the services in medicine would be limited. In time of an emergency it would take longer to get to the doctor and get life saving treatment.

Benefits: The advantages would be that the support systems of rural community’s are usually very good. Communities come together and help each other out so those of rural areas are usually very supportive in time of need or emergency. A challenge to that in health care is that in a rural community there is not much privacy so when you are at the doctor for any reason word usually spreads quickly in small communities so all your neighbors know what is going on with.

Annalee Principe

Name: Rita, a Radiologist Technician who works at the Billings Clinic

Student: Annalee Principe, who attends the Billings Career Center

Challenges: Some technology does not improve along with the bigger hospitals.

Benefits: She can usually see more of the same patients. She loves her job very much!

Jakob Kok1 Jakob Kok2

Name: Mark Goldy, an Athletic Trainer for the Billings Clinic

Student: Jakob Kok, Skyview High School/Career Center, 10th grade

Challenges: Most rural communities cannot afford a full time athletic trainer, so we can only cover so many events.

Benefits: Most rural communities do not have access to an athletic trainer, when try do have access they appreciate and benefit from it.

William Adams

Name: Pam Adams is a surgery scheduler for Dr. Drake a trauma surgeon at Ortho Montana

Student: William Adams, Billings West High/Billings Career Center, 11th Grade

Challenges: Some challenges of working in a rural community is not being able to get people who don’t live near Billings in at a time that will work for them and us as well as dealing with people who aren’t used to dealing in a professional environment and the struggles of healthcare.

Benefits: The benefits of working in a rural environment is getting to know your patients on a personal level and learning about their unique lives and jobs.

Hanna King

Name: Casey, a Paramedic at Billings Clinic

Student: Hanna King, a junior who attends the Billings Career Center

Challenges: Challenges could be not having the newest equipment or research, and not having specialized doctors for complicated procedures. For example, someone who needed a heart transplant would have to fly to Denver instead of being treated here in Billings.

Benefits: Working in a rural community allows for patients to be treated as real people instead of just a number. Fewer people come into the emergency room, allowing for shorter waiting periods. The average ER wait at Billings Clinic is less than an hour, while in Denver it could be up to 18 hours. Doctors are more personal with patents and take extra time to understand the patient and help them.