In the implementation of various policies in rural places, some issues may occur. These issues are caused by the fact that there are numerous definitions of a rural area that can be defined in various ways. Indeed, Krout and Hash reveal compositional, ecological, behavioral, and social, and economic factors of determining rural places (2015). Therefore, it is challenging for people to understand if they live in a rural or urban location. These challenges affected my experience of professional relationships with older adults.
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As someone who has quite extensive experience of working with older adults and elderly patients (45-100 years) in the oncology, medical-surgical nursing, and telemetry units, I have to confirm that meeting the needs of patients in a rural setting requires more consistency in patient-nurse communication. Last summer I was volunteering in one of the hospitals in my city, where people from all the neighboring districts come to receive medical services. The administration of the hospital decided to conduct a patient satisfaction survey for older adults. These types of surveys aim to identify gaps and develop an effective plan for quality improvement in the hospital (Al-Abri, & Al-Balushi 2014). I was asked to collect information about the patients who are older than 65 using individual questionnaires. This age group was chosen to find out if patients experience any specific difficulties due to their age while obtaining medical services. One of the questions included in these surveys was about interviewees’ areas of living.
Unfortunately, the majority of people did not know if their residence could be considered rural or urban. This led to the situation when some people just missed the question or refused to continue participation in the interview. Moreover, I, personally, did not enjoy conducting surveys in the hospital because in most cases, people are busy or do not feel well enough to spend their time answering questions.
Al-Abri, R., & Al-Balushi, A. (2014). Patient satisfaction survey as a tool towards quality improvement. Oman Medical Journal, 29(1), 3-7. doi:10.5001/omj.2014.02
Krout, J., & Hash, K. (2015). What is rural? Introduction to Aging in rural places. In K.M. Hash, E. T. Jurkowski, & J. A. Krout (Eds.), Aging in rural places: Programs, policies, and professional practice. (pp.3-22). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.