Contrary to the typical hospital portrayed on TV drama programs, many hospitals in the U.S. are not fully staffed with specialty medical personnel appearing as the emergency strikes, operating theaters with the latest technology able to pinpoint unheard-of diseases and specialists always on call when a crisis hits the city. The U.S. is a body of large medical centers, but its backbone is the smaller local hospitals and clinics:
- There are just over 3,000 large urban community hospitals in the U.S., but nearly 2,000 rural community hospitals.
- Between 2010 and 2016, 80 rural hospitals closed, of which 27 were Critical Access Hospitals; their location at least 35 miles from another hospital and often in remote areas make their existence vital to the communities they serve.
- There are about 2,700 retail health clinics in the U.S., and the number is expected to increase as retail drug stores continue to add them to compete with the stand-alone health clinics operated by hospitals and healthcare companies.
The opportunity for temporary and contract work in the nation’s smaller and more rural clinics and hospitals has never been greater because the need has never been greater; here are eight reasons to consider a contract or temporary working position outside the big city:
The need for numbers: More of the country’s population lives in or near big cities, and that includes medical personnel; the number of physicians per 10,000 people is more than twice as high in urban areas as in rural locations. And specialists are outnumbered ten to one when you compare urban versus rural populations.
Rural medical facilities lack the funding for full-time specialists, but often have a temporary or seasonal need for specialists, and offer salary plus other benefits such as housing to attract employees. Most budgets are determined on an annual basis, and hiring long-term or permanent specialists one year may become economically unfeasible in the face of next year’s budget deficits.
A lack of workspace in the smaller clinics and hospitals outside city areas means permanent full-time specialists can work elsewhere and come to the rural facilities on a shared basis, with two or more facilities paying the cost and providing the equipment for one specialist.
The need for a specialist is not always permanent because some health issues, such as an outbreak of influenza, last for several weeks or months and require dedicated services for a relatively short period of time.
The lack of highly specialized equipment and the need to regularly refer patients to other facilities for more complex testing and surgery renders the need for full-time specialist unnecessary.
Contract employees new to the profession and looking to add to their resumes are excellent candidates for employment in rural hospitals and clinics; the practice of medicine and the life experience gained to provide a foundation attractive to any future employer.
Contract employees interested in travel around the country and a variety of both medical and personal experiences will find those rewards working in rural clinics and hospitals. The location of many small facilities are in the heart of counties with one-lane roads, few signs and no sign of urban living. They learn to work with people who have little money but a lot of pride and perhaps trepidation in seeing a physician, and provide one-on-one treatment with kindness and caring without always looking at the clock or their checkbook.
Geography and transportation in rural areas may be difficult during certain times of the year, and a specialist unfamiliar with the region may find a permanent assignment to the location personally unsuitable for living and driving.
Just In Time Staffing is a leading provider of contract and temporary medical personnel, from nurses and surgical technologists to dieticians, record clerks, and pharmacy techs. Our staff understands the needs of our clients and federal contracting regulations, and it’s our mission to match your job to the best short or long-term employee. We’re a partner with and for your healthcare business; contact us and find out how your expectations and our innovations equal success.