What do you get when 8 ABSNs, 6 MSNs, and 1 instructor are packed into a cabin meant for half that amount? The answer is new cabin. We were hardly settled before we began our days in West Virginia, filled with tours of the different hollows/valleys or “hollers” as the residents of Cabin Creek say. These are the areas typically near creeks, where people are able to build communities. We also learned about the impact the coal mining industry and mountain top removal sites have had on this community.
The main clinic in the Cabin Creek community was initially established to support coal miners with Black Lung Disease and their families. Many patients
in both the Cabin Creek Health System and New River Health System, where students are placed, have generations of families that have lived in these communities their whole lives. This is a valuable characteristic for rural West Virginia, because our approach for tackling our quality improvement project relies on oral histories.
The administrative and medical staff have tasked the ABSN “SWAT Team” with discovering the story of patients that have had over 2 hospital admissions over the past 12 months.
The admitting conditions are related to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Heart Failure, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, and others, which are typically managed in the primary care setting.
What are the barriers these patients face with managing their conditions? Statistics can only tell us so much, and we want to take a culturally sensitive approach. We will do this by hearing their stories. We are busy reviewing charts and have interviews set up after clinic/shadow time with our preceptors in the morning.
I will keep you posted. Please visit my twitter account @AshEliseMPH for real time updates with #RuralHealth as the hash tag.