The way that health is practiced in the metropolitan areas, rural settings and remote areas differ greatly. The features that distinguish remote and rural practice often become more prominent the more remote you become. The environment is different, as are the health issues encountered. The population is small, dispersed and in some places highly mobile, with significant variations in the health team and services accessible to the community.
These features, combined with the individual features of each community, create many opportunities for allied health professionals in remote and rural practice. Opportunities of remote and rural allied health practice, as identified by the Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews include:
- Servicing populations with high health needs and a diverse health profile
- Providing services in multiple contexts (beyond the hospital)
- Connecting services to the community (greater community involvement)
- Travel to provide services and see different parts of the country
- Use of a range of different service delivery models
- Use of new and advancing technologies to deliver health services (such as Telehealth)
- Enhanced collaboration with other agencies and team members
- Greater involvement in population health, public health and health promotion, with an increased primary health care focus
- Working together with Aboriginal people in a culturally safe way, and developing your cultural safety
- Delivering a wide range of services, across the continuum of care.
- Developing wide range of professional skills
- Greater self management skills such as time management and workload management
- Earlier exposure to supervision of others including students and support workers
- Enhanced cultural safety skills
- Advanced communication skills
- Greater team practice, including interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary practice
- Increased autonomy in practice and decision-making
- Ability to manage professional isolation and create professional networks
- Working within, beyond and sharing your scope of practice
- Working independently, in isolation or as a sole practitioner
- Greater involvement in service planning, implementation and evaluation
- Greater responsibility for caseload management and prioritisation/demand management
- Strong self-reflection skills, knowing your limitations and ‘when to ask for help’.
- High level of IT skills
- Greater appreciation of confidentiality (due to remote/rural) challenges
- Becoming flexible, innovative, adaptable and resourceful.
- Chance to develop strong self-care and safety/survival skills, including first aide, safe driving and local knowledge.
- Opportunity to become part of a community
- Strong understanding of professional/personal boundaries
Remote and Rural Practice & You
- What unique aspects of remote and rural practice have you already experienced?
- Are there any features and opportunities you can further explore?
- How can you make the most of the unique aspects of remote and rural practice?