The Gap Between Rural And Rural Communities

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Rural America Nearly 70 million Americans live in rural areas (Gorski, 2011). A rural area is “defined generally in terms of the geographic location and population density or the distance from or the time needed to commute to an urban center” (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014, p. 390). Due to this geographic isolation, healthcare facilities are limited and healthcare practitioners are scarce (Gorski, 2011). Rural residents are characterized as poorer, underinsured or uninsured, with fewer years of education. Related to the lack of education, these residents do not engage in preventative practices to improve health. For example, they are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol and less likely to routinely exercise, which results in higher obesity rates as well as high cholesterol and high blood pressure (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2014). In order to effectively care for the rural community, it is imperative that the healthcare worker respect the rural culture. A fine line exists between the nurse and the rural resident, for the nurse must understand the rural culture and remember to be sensitive to the cultural differences. If the client senses a negative or judgmental attitude, then a lack of trust will develop. “Providers’ attitudes, insights, and knowledge about rural populations are important…In developing community health programs that are available, accessible, affordable, and appropriate, nurses must design strategies and implement interventions that mesh with a client’s
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