Practice of Rural Nursing – Care Example

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"Practice of Rural Nursing" is an engrossing example of a paper on care. All human beings for the mere fact that they are human require a certain kind of care and attention to their health needs. People living in rural areas in the United States are not an exception to this. The health care requirements of many of these rural dwellers cannot be adequately addressed by the ‘ urban or suburban’ hospitals and more so by the use of nursing models established in these hospitals thus they require a community hospital that is within their reach; one that can cater for their needs and still be affordable to this population (Eldridge & Judkins, 2003).

This paper will describe the goals that I intended to achieve and discuss the role of such hospitals in terms of the practice of rural nursing, professional practice concepts at Sauk Center, Emergency Trauma level of Sauk Center, and the Health Care System Critical Access Classification of Sauk Center. The practice of Rural Nursing The practice of rural nursing differs across all rural hospitals. However, there are guidelines that these hospitals are required to follow over the course of their practice such as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) and the hospital policy at Sauk Center. Definition Rural Nursing has been defined as the provision of health care by specialized nurses to persons living in sparsely populated areas Winters and Lee (2010).

This coincides with the definition by McCoy (2009) which also adds that the definition has been expanded to include the core concepts of rural nursing. Comparing and Contrasting the role of a rural nurse in a Regional Medical Center and in a Rural/Community Hospital Setting Nurses are generally considered to be generalists by patients.

This is because the roles of rural nurses in a rural hospital setting have been diffused; they are sometimes expected to perform a variety of diverse and unrelated tasks (Winters & Lee, 2010). This study showed that a rural hospital nurse will often perform a variety of roles and practices within the realm of numerous other health care disciplines, including respiratory therapy, laboratory technology, dietetics, pharmacy, social work, psychology, and medicine. Examples of the intersections between rural nursing and other disciplines include doing EKGs, performing arterial punctures, running blood gas machines, drawing blood, setting up cultures, going to the pharmacy to pour drugs, going to the local drugstore to get medications for patients, ordering x-rays and medications, delivering babies, directing the actions of physicians, and cooking meals when the cook gets snowed in.

This was noted during my normal working day at Sauk Centre. The nurses would sometimes juggle between providing different services to patients. Similarly, the findings by Rawlinson and Crews (2003) indicate that some of the functions mentioned above are carried out by separate nurses in urban practices in particular settings such as a trauma center or an intensive care unit.

This is because their roles are clearly identifiable and made distinct from each other. Rural nurses, however, are usually not bound by the obligation to a specific division and are anticipated to purpose in multiple roles, even within one work shift. At Sauk Centre, on a single shift, a nurse may work in obstetrics delivering a baby, care for a dying patient on the medical-surgical unit, and initiate care of a trauma patient in the emergency room.

Likewise, on weekends, or during evening shifts, a nurse may be required to perform tasks set aside for the doctor or dietician or may even be an administrator on the day shift. The professional nursing practice model, in my opinion, defines what it means to “ Advance the practice of nursing, every day at Sauk Centre” . This Professional Practice Model describes the professional values and the healthy environment in which the nurses at the Sauk Centre practice, the professional relationships with colleagues as they collaboratively focus on delivering the best service. The RNs are empowered through a nursing supremacy structure to make conclusions and build proficient responsibility and they practice in an atmosphere in which imagination, innovation, and scholarly productivity are encouraged and recognized. The nursing Model at Sauk Centre has the patient and the family at the center of everything.

There are four major components in this model as I discovered during my workmanship at the center: Leadership, Learning, research and development in one sphere, Teams, partnerships, and communities of practice in another, and most importantly quality care.

The model is viewed as a repetitive cycle, with each phase representing one element or a sphere of the model. The cycle is a repetitive cycle because all matters have to be considered in order for the center element to be achieved, that is, when all elements are in place, the patient and family will receive the utmost quality care as per the promise of the century. Certification requirements of the RN practice nurse RN’ s are educated and required to read and interpret infant, pediatric, and adult EKG monitor strips.

The rural hospital requires more certifications because of their larger scope of practice than does an RN working in specified units in a community hospital. This coincides with the findings of Eldridge and Judkins (2003) which showed that less densely populated areas and Americans in rural areas are more likely to suffer from long-lasting illnesses than their urban and residential equals. Furthermore, approximately half of rural people report having at least one major prolonged disease such as chronic bronchitis and Cancer. They are up to 1.4 times more widespread in rural than in huge urban areas.

This information conforms to the first-hand information I received from an RN that works in Sauk Centre and had previously worked at the St. Cloud hospital. Sauk Centre requires RN staff with these qualifications: ALS - This includes airway management and intubation.   NRP - Neonatal Resuscitation Program TNCC – Trauma Nursing Core Course Coordinator Instructor PALS – Paediatric Advanced Life Support In community hospitals such as St. Cloud, BLS is a requirement of all nursing staff at every level.   PCA’ s are included in this group.   All nurses on all units throughout the hospital are not required to hold all the above certifications.   This is majorly for nurses that work in specified units such as Telemetry, ICU, CCU, NICU, and units that have cardiac monitoring. Emergency Trauma Level of Sauk Centre Level II and III trauma centers are essential areas that are less densely populated and certainly in rural areas.

At the Sauk Centre, the Level III trauma center provides prompt assessments, resuscitations, emergency operations, and stabilization. It also arranges for the possible transfer of patients to a facility that can provide definitive trauma care.

In addition, there are general surgeons to go along with this facility. Similar to the American Trauma Society (2013), the elements of this Trauma level are: Provides back up care for rural and community hospitals 24 hours of immediate coverage by emergency medical physicians Quality assessment program, among others. Health Care System Critical Access Classification The Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) program is intended to progress rural health care right of entry and lessen hospital closings.


American Trauma Society (2013). Retrieved February 20, 2013, from

Eldridge, C.R. & Judkins, S. (2003). Rural Nurse Administrators: Essentials for Practice. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care, 3 (2), 9-16.

McCoy, C. (2009). Professional Development in Rural Nursing: Challenges and Opportunities. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 40 (3), 128-131.

Rawlinson, C. & Crews, P. (2003). Access to Quality Health Services in Rural Areas- Emergency Medical Services: A literature review. Rural Healthy People 2010: A comparison document to healthy people 2010, 2, 37-48.

Winters, C.A. & Lee, H.J. (Eds.) (2010). Rural Nursing: Concepts, theory, and practice. New York: Hamilton Printing Company

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