Health disparities affect the most vulnerable categories of the population, including, first of all, racial and ethnic minorities as well as people with disabilities. Location and socioeconomic status are also on the list of the criteria that determine the accessibility of medical assistance; notably, rural areas are frequently underserved. This is, however, changeable, provided that medical practitioners at all levels collaborate both with one another and with patients. More specifically, it is relevant to form interprofessional teams that comprise “experts from all health care backgrounds” (Vanderbilt et al., 2015, p. 206). Such an approach allows for complex treatment rather than managing a single complaint, which is critical in a climate of insufficient access to regular medical aid. In teams of that kind, nurses are responsible for continuous contact with patients and appropriate care so that recovery grows faster and easier.
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The essential point is that people who live in rural areas are frequently believed to be culturally different from city residents. In order to enable productive communication, nurses have to be unbiased, as negative stereotypes may affect nurse-patient relationships. Another determinant of good interaction is the maximal involvement of a patient “in all aspects of care,” regardless of social characteristics, for instance, the level of education (Oruche & Zapolski, 2020, p. 2). Nevertheless, those parameters need considering in the course of designing an individual program. Thus, patients whose educational attainment is low may need additional explanations and/or information presented in the terms they will understand (Oruche & Zapolski, 2020). Nurses should also encourage patients to ask questions, express their opinions, and describe their feelings, which would allow for a maximally fast and effective treatment, especially under the conditions of limited access.
Vanderbilt, A. A., Dail, M. & Jaberi, P. (2015). Reducing health disparities in underserved communities via interprofessional collaboration across health care professions. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 8, 205-208.
Oruche, U. M., & Zapolski, T. C. B. (2020). Journal of Psychological Nursing and Mental Health Services. Web.