Rural healthcare has it tough. Whatever may be argued about the state of healthcare provision for rural citizens in the U.S. today, there are some things about rural healthcare that will probably never change. Naturally, it is just not practical to have a large hospital serving a tiny community or covering a large geographical area with a low population.
This is one of the things that puts many new recruits off going with a healthcare institution that exists in a rural area. And there is another reason rural healthcare institutions are different right now – the state of the talent market.
The country is going through what is commonly described as a strong jobseeker’s market. What this means is that there is a surplus of roles and a relative dearth of talent to fill them. Online recruitment service Health Jobs Nationwide, who offer nurse practitioner jobs among others, say that this causes all sorts of problems, usually resulting from a certain lowering of standards. They let substandard applicants into positions because institutions are desperate for recruits.
Rural practices are at particular risk of succumbing to the temptation of lowering standards, simply because they have a harder time recruiting the top talent, who often wish to work at major healthcare institutions in cities.
These are all problems and challenges pertaining to rural healthcare as it currently stands. Moreover, it must be said that nothing stated here is a myth.
A Rewarding Career
But this is not to say that there aren’t tons of myths about rural healthcare. A couple of the biggest being that it cannot be a rewarding or an attractive career or that rural healthcare practices should be treated with suspicion. The problems arising from the current talent market apply all over the country and in just as many city hospitals and healthcare institutions. Furthermore, there are ways to identify these suspect employers, and you can certainly make sure that the rural healthcare institution you have your eye on isn’t one of them.
Rural healthcare brings with it the joy of being in a tranquil, beautiful area, and of building a real close relationship being hospital staff and patients. Make no mistake, candidates are interested in rural healthcare, and more would be if we could dispel myths surrounding it.
But what are those many myths? Well, here are some of the most persistent:
It’s Totally Different
No, rural healthcare does not involve different forms of treatment and you are no more likely to treat a certain condition in a rural area than in an urban one. Moreover, with the same challenges comes many of the same procedures and medical treatments. A doctor is a doctor, and the sick are the sick.
You Are Working with Less Resources
Well, you are but you’re also working with less patients, so it evens out. Rural patients follow the same national health trends as elsewhere, with only a few minor differences. Certainly, where the major conditions are concerned, it is the same. And at a good institution you will have what you need to do your job.
You’ll Be Overworked and Stressed
Related to the last myth is this one that you’ll be the only doctor for miles dealing with every problem at once. Actually, the opposite is usually true, and rural doctors typically have more flexible hours and more free time. City healthcare is the stressful one.
Rural healthcare is vital, and it should ideally be scaled in proportion to what it needs to achieve. If you have a rural healthcare practice, you should know this and big up your institution, educating healthcare recruits about what this type of healthcare has to offer.