The Rural Route – Treasures you’ll discover on a rural nursing placement

4 minute read

You may be wondering – what experiences await in a rural contract? What benefits can I gain from a rural contract that a regional contract cannot provide? Join us as we delve into the world of rural nursing placements for agency nurses, and why you can discover rewarding experiences that are harder to come across in areas closer to home.

Let’s firstly familiarise ourselves with the categories that agency nursing generally falls into:

  1. Regional & Metropolitan hospitals
  2. Rural hospitals
  3. Remote clinics

Rural hospitals are further out of town and cities, and often referred to as the countryside or the outback. Due to the natural location of these hospitals and facilities, they are more secluded compared to facilities you’d commonly come across in for example, a metropolitan city. Because of this, there are often higher demands, more roles and opportunities for healthcare workers in these rural areas.

The isolated nature of rural areas makes it difficult for communities to access healthcare resources – so if you work within these settings, buckle up, get ready to encounter and learn a wider array of interesting presentations you may not experience in your current hospital walls.

Affinity nurses love to go on rural contracts, check out some areas in high demand from each state!

Due to rural seclusion, it’s no surprise that agency nursing in these areas can have its own unique challenges and difficulties. However, you discover many treasures and benefits that come along with taking on a rural nursing placement.

Read below to discover some of these, as well as gain some inspiration from our very own Affinity travel nurses who have completed a rural contract themselves!

1. Professional growth

Due to the scarcity of medical resources, you will encounter unusual yet interesting presentations. Because of this, you can expect more versatility and responsibility when undergoing a rural placement. These types of presentations can be challenging, but offers you the opportunity to grow, develop and gain rewarding experiences that you’ll likely miss out on in areas closer to home.

You’ll find yourself immersed in a different world that offers the opportunity to hone your medical skillsets, allowing you to become a well-rounded healthcare professional by handling smaller, yet diverse patient populations.

Affinity RN Carol encountered a specifically interesting presentation of a mother who brought her six-year-old daughter during her rural placement in Far North Queensland:

The mother’s concern was that the child had a puffy face. That is a red flag in the Far North, and the child was tested for and diagnosed with Acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN). You wear many more hats than in tertiary health care.

With 34 years of nursing experience under her belt, click here to read about RN Carol’s rural experiences.

2. Making an impact on communities in need

You can play a crucial role in rural communities by providing essential healthcare where they are often scarce. By bringing your expertise directly to these communities in need, the impact you can leave is profound and often has a positive impact within its residents.

The presence of a travel nurse not only brings medical support, but also a sense of reassurance and comfort to these rural residents. Knowing that there are dedicated professionals willing to travel long distances to provide care to their small community alleviates stress and anxiety – this act of kindness is often cherished by the local residents.

3. Becoming a part of the tight-knit community

Working rural means forging meaningful connections with not only a smaller pool of healthcare colleagues, but also the local community. The cultural exchange that occurs when travel nurses immerse themsleves in rural communities enriches both parties.

Interactions with residents foster stronger connections and helps travel nurses gain insight into the unique challenges of the rural lifestyle. On the other hand, local residents benefit from exposure to different perspectives and approaches to healthcare.

This breaks down barriers and creates a sense of unity with the locals. You’ll get to know the real characters in a rural town and appreciate the simple life!

4. Independence and flexibility

The rural nurse lifestyle gives the gift of more autonomy and flexibility that’s not often found in regional healthcare settings. If indendence and being adaptable is your thing, you can thrive in this incredibly rewarding lifestyle!

You’ll often be working alone or in smaller teams to provide care with limited resources and support. This environment develops strong problem solving skills and the ability to adapt to challenges as they arise – you’ll be thinking on your feet a lot!

This increased autonomy lets you to make critical decisions and can be empowering for your independence as you take full ownership of the patients you care for.

Additionally, the nature of the rural conditions forces you to be more self-reliant as you may encounter challenges in living conditions you are rarely exposed to in metropolitan cities.

You are never alone and can reach out to our team at any time should you require assistance. Alternatively, the CRANA Bush Support Line (1800 805 391) is free to call and open to all rural healthcare workers in isolated communities.

As a nurse with 45 years of nursing experience, read Margaret’s Spotlight to see what Affinity Autonomy looks like in the daily life of a RN/RAN veteran!

5. More roles and opportunities due to higher demand

Since rural locations are less accessible, it’s no surprise that skillsets of healthcare professionals are in higher demand in these rural communities.

If you choose to take on a rural placement, you will have an abundance of roles and opportunities to choose from. Click here to peruse some job locations you can settle into as an agency nurse.

Katherine, our very own Senior Remote Placement Specialist, has over 20 years of industry experience and a deep understanding of the healthcare system to help find a suitable contract and guide you every step of the way!

Ready for an adventure to uncover rural treasures? Register with Affinity and together we can begin a journey of learning and discovery!

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