When you started your career as a physiotherapist or medical imaging technologist, you may have imagined yourself working in a large and exciting city like Toronto or Vancouver. Perhaps you’ve been spending much of your career working in an urban healthcare facility. However, healthcare professionals are badly needed everywhere, especially in underserved, rural, and remote locations, which is why locum opportunities are so abundant there.
Many healthcare professionals opt for locum work because they value the freedom, flexibility, and better work-life balance that comes with being an independent contractor. Others start out with these goals and quickly realize that they’re also playing an important role in communities that don’t have regular access to physiotherapy and certain medical imaging services. In this blog, we’ll go over how seeking rural healthcare jobs can make a huge difference in the lives of patients outside urban communities.
The State of Healthcare in Rural Canadian Communities
Rural parts of Canada continue to experience challenges in accessing health care. Not only do they have problems attracting and retaining family doctors and medical professionals (although nearly 18% of Canadians live in rural communities, they are served by only 8% of practicing doctors), they frequently have to travel long distances to have medical imaging exams or see a physiotherapist. Taking advantage of locum opportunities in these areas can fill an urgent healthcare gap.
Another study looked at whether rehabilitation services were sufficiently organized and distributed to meet the needs of Canadians everywhere, especially when faced with an aging population and the prevalence of chronic diseases. It concluded that these services were not widely accessible in remote locations, especially mobility and pain management therapies.
How Locum Opportunities Make a Difference
By restoring physical function and mobility, reducing pain, and addressing other symptoms, physiotherapists improve the quality of life for those with a wide range of health conditions. However, geographical barriers can limit access to their services, so many of these communities offer locum opportunities to bridge that void.
Similar challenges exist with medical imaging services like ultrasound. Lack of availability can result in diagnosis and treatment delays, steady progression of certain diseases, and increased rates of complications. Remote and rural communities are usually spread so far apart that medical imaging is not locally available, forcing patients to travel long distances to the closest facility.
Smaller clinics set up to serve these communities usually have a limited number of technologists on staff, so when any of them are absent for long, it interrupts service delivery and increases the burden on remaining technologists. Seeking locum opportunities in these areas allows you to serve communities with limited access to adequate health care, making it a great way to give back in your career. As a locum tenens clinician, you can improve the quality of care and relieve overworked or stressed health teams.
Rural Healthcare Jobs Can Expand Your Career Horizons
When you work in remote and rural locations, you get to serve a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds, some of whom may have conditions you’ve never worked with before. You’ll also encounter different work environments: clinics that serve a community of a few hundred people operate a lot differently than those in major urban areas. As your career advances, you will benefit from these diverse experiences.
Rural Locum Opportunities Can Be Better for Your Health
Stress and burnout are real worries for Canadian healthcare workers, physiotherapists and medical imaging technologists included. According to Statistics Canada, stress levels for those working in this field increased during the pandemic and still remain uncomfortably high.
Rural locations in particular tend to offer fresh air, a cleaner environment, and slower-paced lifestyles that many people crave. Since healthcare workers are desperately needed in this area, you have the opportunity to get away and rejuvenate while providing local residents with the treatments and services they need.
Working in a remote location is not only beneficial for your patients, but also for your health. Several studies have shown that people living near green landscapes are less likely to suffer psychological disorders than those living in urban centers. When compared to big cities with their speeding cars, horns honking, and sirens wailing, you’ll experience a lot less sensory overload; from this perspective, practicing in a rural or remote location can help you regain energy and enthusiasm that your previous job may have drained.
You’ll Love the Work-Life Balance!
Since rural and remote areas have fewer patients to serve each day, you have more time to spend with each one, resulting in a better care experience on both sides. In addition, locum opportunities in these areas will allow you to enjoy a great work-life balance. The scenery in many of these areas is breathtaking, the history is vast, and there are endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. When you locum in rural areas, you’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy activities outside of work.
The People Are Also Great!
Most people know each other in smaller communities. When you make a difference in the life of one person, the word spreads and you’re often treated like the healthcare hero you really are. When you’re not pressured to see one patient after another in rapid succession, you can reconnect with the true meaning of health care- helping those in need.
Make the Most of Your Remote Locum Opportunities!
A rural location has more to offer than you can imagine – until you experience it for yourself. If you have the opportunity to take on a rural locum assignment, consider taking it, as you have the chance to make a difference AND experience career settings you might not otherwise have encountered.
If you’re interested in exploring remote locum opportunities, reach out to ProMed HR Solutions. We can match you up with available contracts in locations where you’ll feel truly needed. To learn more about who we are and what we can do for you, please visit promedhr.ca or call (833) 776-6336.