Rural and Remote Nurses
Nurses that work in Regional, Rural or Remote areas in Australia play a huge part in closing the health gap for Australians living in challenging geographical regions. Individuals that live in these areas generally tend to have a shorter life expectancy and higher levels of disease and injury. The health outcomes in these areas are acknowledged by a range of factors, including education, employment opportunities, lower incomes and access to healthcare services.
Good healthcare is commonly considered a basic human right to all Australians. However, for citizens who reside in rural or remote areas, it is more challenging for them to access any type of healthcare. People in rural areas have to wait longer, travel further and expand in more of their own resources to seek healthcare. As a result of this, these people just simply don’t seek help for healthcare.
As a Nurse, when considering going to a rural or remote location, it is best to be wise of what each term means:
A rural placement is an area that is not considered to be metropolitan. This means it can either be a small hospital in a small town with just a few beds or a larger hospital in what feels like a larger town, however, is still a considerable amount of time away from any major city. It is highly recommended that Nurses start work in rural locations before moving onto regional areas as this will encourage them to adapt to smaller scales and different living environments.
A remote location is based in clinics that are considerably further away from rural placements. These areas usually have a high indigenous population and the lifestyle is very different from westernised Australia. Nurses working in remote areas will need to have a good understanding of cultural differences and be skilled in areas which may not be required of them in other areas of Australia.
The key to improving this situation in rural or remote areas is to simply make it easier for citizens to access healthcare. The Australian government providers numerous incentives for people working in remote areas of the country, including assistance to help nurses relocate, grants and many other perks. Nurses relocating and assisting in rural and remote areas of healthcare are improving the condition because they understand the content, the environment and don’t fear to do things by themselves. As there is a need for general, multi-skilled medical staff to improve and provide a range of care, these people are able to handle all situations and are not just limited to little specific parts of healthcare.
There are many reasons as to why Nurses chose to work in this line of work. From experiencing rural and remote cultures to making a difference to disadvantaged communities, Nurses continue to get involved and work these contracts with the aim to make a difference.