Meet Our June Nurse of the Month, Jennifer Schindler!

Meet Jennifer, our June Nurse of the Month! As Angelia Frederick, FNP says, Jen is a breath of fresh air. Working with Jenny is a delight – her positive upbeat attitude makes the night go by with ease. Jenny is very knowledgeable and she’s the nurse you want by your side when things go south. I love working with Jen and I know when I come to work and she’s there that we can handle whatever the night brings.”

 

Hi Jennifer, thanks for speaking with us. So how long have you been a nurse?

9 and a half years now. I started out in my hometown hospital.

 

Do you like rural nursing?

I do! I don’t see myself anywhere else. With rural nursing, you get a bit of everything and see all kinds of patients – become a jack of all trades, so to speak.

 

How did you end up working with Tribal Health?

In addition to multiple small surrounding towns, the hospital I was working at helped to serve two other Native American communities. Some of the same crew you see in Rosebud were familiar faces to me. I kept in contact with some of the nurses and they convinced me to make the jump.  It’s been three years now.

 

What’s your favorite part of working on Tribal lands?

The connections I’ve made. I know more than a few patients on a first name basis and them with me as well.  Often it’s the small connections made with patients and families and little details that make the biggest difference. The influence and rapport I feel is so rewarding.

Also, I really enjoy my coworkers. I might be a bit biased but I think we have a pretty talented crew and they make work gratifying too!

And maybe this is less about the job and more about the area in general but it’s definitely a perk– the sunrises and sunsets on my drive. I grew up a couple hours away and I’ve never seen anything like them–it really is God’s country.

Any memorable experiences?

Well, I grew up in South Dakota so the weather is no surprise. But there have been a few memorable snowstorms, making access to the hospital difficult. Sometimes on night shifts we would help shovel snow in order to help keep the path clear.

One other memory that comes to mind is an evening where we worked a few staff short. It proved to be pretty eventful and in spite of all the high acuity patients we were providing care for and transferring to a higher level of service, we ended up helping with two newborn deliveries in less than an hour. It was a lot of problem solving in a small amount of time with what resources we had available to us. All went well—that can definitely be attributed to the crew I worked with and the notable teamwork!

 

What’s your advice to nurses new to Tribal lands?

In the initial aspects of my nursing career, it was instilled in me to always provide the same care to others that you would to a family member.  I still look at it that way continually. It’s easy for me to walk into a room and find that connection. “Family” is one association almost everyone has. As I’ve gotten older and had my own experiences being a patient, it’s become even more crucial for me to try as hard as I can to see it through the lens of others, remembering to keep in constant communication and providing the same patient-centered care I’d want for my own family.

 

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I’m a homebody! I really enjoy spending the time with family and friends as well as the outdoors. If I’m not at home or working in the yard this summer, you can probably find me chasing my two children, Ava (13) and Bodhie (8) around to their various activities.

 

Do you have any special plans this summer?

I plan to be out on the river enjoying the sun, catching up with some friends and maybe even catch a drive-in movie or two! Anything outdoors and it’s my happy place!

 

Thank you, Jennifer!

 

 

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