Did you grow up in a rural community?
No, I was raised in a metropolitan city.
Have you worked in other settings? If so, how are they different, how are they the same?
As a student, I had a student nurse job in the city that I was raised in. City hospitals have more services and amenities than rural hospitals, and the technology used in city hospitals tend to be one step ahead of rural...tho that shouldn't be surprising, considering the fact that city hospitals receive more funding and resources than rural places. In rural hospitals, you have limited staff and resources, so you make do with what you do have. As well, the clientele is different between rural and city hospitals.
What made you decide to work in a rural setting?
I could not find a job as a new grad in the city, so I spread my wings and went where the jobs were. It's not ideal, and it's not even my list of places that I'd envision myself working in, but you do what you got to do for that first job.
How has rural nursing helped you grow in your profession?
The experience made me more aware of the difficulties that the rural population faces in terms of healthcare, and it made me more aware of the myriad of healthcare services and amenities that I took for granted in the city. Working in a rural place helped me see a side of healthcare that I normally wouldn't have seen had I stayed in the city, and it helped me appreciate the divide between accessing healthcare services for the rural and city populaitons. As well, due to the fact that working in a rural place means you have to be somewhat of a generalist when it comes to practicing (on any given day on the unit that I'm at, there will be palliative patients, acute care patients, pediatric patients, OB-GYN patients, some critical care patients and a dab of mental health patients)...so it really helpe to develop my critical thinking, time management and technical nursing skills.
What do you like/dislike about it?
I like that I get to see a wide variety of patients with different diagnosis, and I like that I get to really learn and consolidate my nursing skills. I don't like the eternal staff and resource shortages...working over time and trying to make do with way less can be frustrating at times.
How long have you been doing this?
I've been working at the place that I'm at for about 3 and a half months now.
Can you describe a typical work day?
Sit in on report and take notes on anything important pertaining to my patients. After report, all the nurses make rounds together to see every patienton the floor. If it's a day shift, then morning care will be done as a team with the nurses and the nursing aide, meds are passed, and any care that needs to be done will be done. For night shift, night time care will be done as a team with the nurses, evening snacks will be passed, meds will be given, and any care left over from the day will be done (there usually isn't many). For charge nurse, he/she is also responsible for making rounds with the doctors, giving report to the next shift, processing charts and orders, coordinate admissions and discharges, and to troubleshoot any problems on the unit.
If you could change anything about working in a rural hospital, what would it be?
More funding for resources and for techology upgrades. As well, improve the recruiting and retaining of staff.
Hope this helps!