It is well known that U.S. healthcare has a highly competitive talent market at its disposal. There are also endless vacancies for healthcare roles. Health Jobs, a recruitment service advertising physician and nurse practitioner jobs, note that the geographical dispersal of these jobs is vast, and there are positions to be filled in all the big cities. Nevertheless, there is probably a larger need in healthcare institutions located in rural areas.
Health Jobs also says that it can be pretty difficult for those institutions in rural areas to recruit the best talent. It isn’t that candidates moving across the country is a problem. This is in fact a very common practice and simply the reality of healthcare in this country at the present time. No, candidates are often put off by rural locations, assuming that healthcare institutions might be less adequate or that quality of life will be compromised “out in the sticks”.
This is a shame, and it is based on false assumptions. There is actually so much that makes rural healthcare jobs attractive. Accordingly, for those recruiters currently navigating the competitive talent market, making clear the benefits and spreading awareness about what rural healthcare is actually like, is a wise move.
Benefits of Rural Healthcare
So, in the interests of spreading the word about what a terrific opportunity rural healthcare can be, it is worth setting out the myriad benefits of working in such a context. When we talk about the benefits for rural healthcare, we are speaking mainly about the day-to-day experience. Obviously, many things are standardized nationwide, and it is not the case that a hospital in a rural area will be somehow totally different from city hospital. It is likely to be smaller, but that is where the distinction in terms of infrastructure ends.
Instead, working in a rural environment is all about the working experience on a daily basis, and there are many positives here.
In smaller healthcare institutions, there tends to be more initiative on the part of staff to rise to the occasion and help out in situations which might be strictly beyond the remit of their roles. In large hospitals, for example, the abundance of staff means that healthcare workers usually stick to their roles. Conversely, it is not at all uncommon at all to see nursing aids deal with worried families or first responders jump in at a moment’s notice to restrain agitated or violent patients. Smaller numbers of staff means that everyone is keen to help out where they can, which neatly leads us to the next advantage of rural healthcare…
Working in a smaller healthcare institution, it is likely you will be seeing the very same people on most shifts. This is just a result of there being fewer of them. This cultivates a level of trust among the staff which creates the kind of close working relationship that actually benefits patients.
Having a Voice
Within a large hospital, for example, the thousands of staff coupled with often-complex bureaucracy means that it really is only those at the very top who can influence new decisions regarding the operation of the institution. In smaller institutions, your ideas are much more likely to be heard and listened to. After all, this is part of that aforementioned camaraderie.
There are many more advantages to rural healthcare work than we have space to go into here. But if a closer relationship with your co-workers and a real sense of teamwork is something that you value, then you should seriously consider rural healthcare.