Barriers to care

by PCU_RN9 PCU_RN9, MSN Member Nurse

Specializes in Health insurance nursing/ Cardiac nursing.

What are some of the most prevalent barriers to accessing care that you’ve seen as a nurse?


RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience. 4,544 Posts

Who is doing the trying? The nurse trying to get something for their patients, but limited by low supplies, lack of time, lack of cooperation or unavailable providers?

Or is this from a patient side of lack of funds, distrust, remote location, life in total chaos where healthcare is not a high priority, people who do not want to be found?


Specializes in Health insurance nursing/ Cardiac nursing. 3 Articles; 63 Posts

Hi there!
I was thinking more so from the patient side when I made this post.



Specializes in CVICU. Has 6 years experience. 2 Posts

The patients I have worked with so far often struggle with insurance/cost. In the ICU, things get expensive quickly (long stays, multiple new medications to purchase, etc.). In these situations I LOVE to rely on social work and case managers. They often follow the patient beyond the ICU and have incredible resources for patients. I have noticed that a lot of patients are hesitant to work with them initially.

I've also noticed a general lack of knowledge. Patients bounce back because they don't understand why their medications are so important. Their family members are often in a daze while in the ICU, so it's a hard time to pass along information. This can lead to multiple family members calling each shift, misinformation being passed along, and other issues. It's also hard to nail down an ICU doc long enough to really educate family on the situation and plan of care. Like they said in nursing school, keep everything at a 3rd grade level! ?

CalicoKitty, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 10 years experience. 970 Posts

I think a lot is education/information, money, insurance, time (for appointments), social support

Education (health/medications): Patients do not understand their medications, how they work, how to incorporate diet/exercise into their plan of care, what carbs are or why their diet is restricted, what the illnesses in their body are and the long-term effects of poor management. As nurses some of this falls to us, but I do not find time regularly to educate patients more than "side effects".

Money: for medications, food, doctor appointments, transportation, time off work (for appointments)

Insurance: which greatly affects money in saved and spent

Time: for doctors appointments (take time off work), transportation, personal well-being

Social support: a lot of people don't get the support they need from their friends, families and community (people) towards healthy living.