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It Takes A Village

“The people we support are like your family." - Kimberly Tollman

Kimberly Tollman loves coming to work. “It’s the fulfillment,” said Tollman, who oversees medical care at Black Hills Works. “The people we support are like your family. We have an awesome nursing department.”

Tollman helps coordinate a complex system that serves the needs of more than 600 people served by the organization. The department, which includes nine nurses, provides a variety of services, including administering medication, wound care and dressing changes, ensuring people have completed annual physicals, vision and dental checks, insulin injections, and nutritional and pharmacy assessments. “We’re making sure that we stay on top of all the needs,” she said. “We don’t have a physician on staff, and we really rely on each other.”

Black Hills Works’ team of nurses must be ready every day to meet a variety of needs and stay up-to-date on new education, Tollman said. “No day is ever the same,” she said. “You walk through the door and 10 different things hit you.”

Because the people they support see physicians in the community, nurses accompany them to specialty appointments and work to make sure they are getting scheduled at appropriate times. “Sometimes it’s hard to get physicians to take the people we serve,” she said, because many doctors will only take so many patients on Medicaid.

Many of the people served at Black Hills Works have a nurse on their team, and for those who don’t, the department is available for any needs that arise. The department is open daily Monday through Friday, and a call nurse is available after hours and on the weekend.

Building relationships with the people they serve is a big part of the job. “It’s a huge part of what we do. It’s everything. They have to trust you.” – Kimberly Tollman

Tollman worked as a nurse at Black Hills Works for six years. She left for three years, and returned a year and a half ago to lead the department. “It’s like no other nursing job I’ve had,” she said. “It’s so rewarding. I knew my heart belonged here.”

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