How to Serve Rural Communities in Healthcare

One of the main aims of most governments on the globe today is to ensure that all citizens have access to healthcare services, including those in the rural communities.

Reaching out to the rural communities can be challenging as most rural areas have no or limited access to modern day advancements. Yet, it is important that healthcare services are provided in rural areas.

Fortunately, today there are many ways and roles that one can serve in rural communities for healthcare services. If you are someone who is keen to do this, read on to find how you can help, in what roles and what can you expect in return in terms of pay, etc.

How to Serve Rural Communities in Healthcare
Photo credit: Today.tamu.edu

What is Rural Healthcare

Professionally, you can describe rural healthcare as the study of healthcare and health delivery within a rural setup community. The idea here is to deliver the most common and basic healthcare services. For the complex medical conditions, the patients are to be referred and transported to the facilities with the capabilities.

You can conclude by determining that to work in rural healthcare centers, you need to be creative about your methods. This is because most facilities in rural setup are not as good, or as many, as in the urban setup. This means that most people who work in the rural communities have to be good at improvising independently.

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Roles in Rural Healthcare

There are a lot of roles available in rural healthcare services. A lot of these roles don’t have permanent staff. Many of these roles are for the people who live in these communities.

Some of the roles are easier to train for, locally while for some others, someone from the urban setup comes in to train.

Let us now look at what kind of roles these are.

Human Resource

Like any other space where there are a lot of people working, there needs to be human resource personnel. Community healthcare also needs them to help the workplace run smoothly.

Here, human resources will also have to deal with the natives who have been trained to handle different roles. Also, since a lot of the roles don’t have permanent staff, you need to replace them in a timely manner and with the right people.

Here, you can take home up to $47,000 annually.

Nurses

Nurses are quite a critical cog in the rural health setup as they are more of a permanent medical caregiver. They run the healthcare facility even in the absence of the doctors. Another role they have to play is assessing the state of the patients when they come in.

This is quite a crucial role as they ensure a lot of time is invested in the patient with dire conditions and medical emergencies. They also take up dressing and first aid among other simple tasks.

Nurses in these facilities can make about $100,000 and above annually.

Midwifery

For many countries, the need for rural healthcare was all about reducing newborn mortality rates. They realized that a lot of expecting mothers didn’t want to go to hospitals or there were simply no facilities around.

The pregnant women preferred to go to traditional midwives who had no formal training. This forced the governments, while they opened the rural healthcare centers, to formally train the midwives and employ them in the facilities.

Some of the healthcare facilities are run by different organizations. They also train people who are interested in midwifery roles and may also employ them.

When it comes to how much midwives take in pay, it depends on a lot of factors, but usually, it ranges from $400 and above on a monthly basis.

Social Worker

When working with a community, the social worker is the boots on the ground as they play different roles. Firstly, they know the community well, as more often than not, they belong to the community. They also take care of the unhealthy or sick in the community – especially those those who have no support system.

They also carefully ensure that those who are critically ill in the community get appropriate medical attention and are given proper medication. Social workers also keep an eye on the old who tend to need more medical attention.

Social workers are the bridge between the healthcare sector and the community, and get paid from as low as $30,000 and above annually in most areas.

Community Liason

The community liaison is one of the most important roles in the rural community as they know the intricacies of the communities they work in. They also keep a track of their patients, their medicines, the food they eat, and their activities.

The community liaison tends to work with the doctor hand in hand as they also speak the native language. They can translate what is being relayed to the doctor in an understandable way, and vice versa.

Community liaisons get up to $10,000 and above in compensation annually.

Medical Intern

Since there are lesser number of doctors based in rural healthcare centers, there are many interns who work here as they are on their way to becoming doctors. Some interns specialize in certain fields, and have to spend a few hours in community setups.

Compensation for medical intern ranges from as low as $600 and above on a monthly basis.

How to Serve Rural Communities in Healthcare
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Patient Access Manager

This role requires you to have great organizational and interpersonal skills to carry out your duties, for example, interviewing the patients. The main role here is for you to have timely and accurate information about the patients.

You’ll also be responsible for coding the patient line, for example, red for seriously ill, black for emergency and so on, among other signs. The pay here ranges from $4,000 and above per month.

Front Office

Front office staff do a whole lot of duties including, assisting the doctors with various tasks. They more or less serve the same role as the patient access manager, though they don’t keep records.

The most important task that people in front office roles take care of is queuing the patients up to see the doctor.

The pay range for this role starts from $3,000.

Conclusion

To help out in the rural communities, you need to be a dedicated person and ready to adapt to the environment, especially if you’re coming from an urban setup.

Here are some of the few roles that you can serve in rural communities in the healthcare sector, and help people in need.

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