As a healthcare provider, you are tasked with the care of those who come to you. Without question, you care for the rich, the poor, the old, the young, and everyone in between. You use your knowledge and skills to help build a better, healthier community. But what about those community members who do not have the resources or time to visit a medical office? Many of those in less privileged communities do not have easy access to primary care providers or transportation to get them an office location. The health and mortality rate of those in underserved areas is often in very dire circumstances.
Benefits of Mobile Health Clinics
Mobile health clinics which come into the communities where people need regular medical care but do not have access can be a great asset which improves the health, well-being, and socioeconomic status of an entire faction of the population.
Often in underserved communities, patients will not seek care until there is a very serious health crisis which is already well underway. By bringing help to them, early detection and treatment of health problems can prevent emergency room visits, hospital stays, and even save lives.
Children in these communities are more likely to have Medicaid or other state sponsored health insurance and medical access; however, their parents are less likely to have the same access. Bringing health care into the community will create healthier parents and families overall, making them more productive at work and better able to care for their children both physically and financially.
Mobile health clinics often work in conjunction with various state social service organizations, which may allow community members to learn about and gain access to services that can help to improve their quality of life.
In communities with a high number of elderly patients, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other similar ailments are often prevalent. Many of these patients are unable to travel even short distances to make it to important medical appointments or may be on limited income and fearful of visiting the doctor due to co-pays and medication costs. Affordable community mobile health clinics can be a wonderful asset to our aging community members for this reason.
What Skills Are Needed in Mobile Health Clinics
There is a place for those with nearly all types of medical skills within mobile health, but beyond clinical training and certification, there are a few personal skills and traits that are extremely beneficial to create a positive experience for both clinicians and patients:
- Patience – Many times, you may find yourself facing frustrating situations when working in a community access healthcare program. Having the patience to handle frustration without turning a situation into something volatile is important.
- Compassion – You must have the heart to be compassionate toward those who are less fortunate and to the circumstances under which they live. Being empathetic and compassionate to people of all backgrounds and resource levels is absolutely imperative.
- Communication Skills – Listening and communicating clearly is important. It may be difficult for your patients to ask for assistance or gain answers to questions, so communicating clearly when giving instruction and listening carefully so that all avenues have been explored is crucial to making mobile health care work for both providers and patients.
- Community – The work of a clinician in a mobile health clinic is often somewhat thankless. You must find your motivation within yourself by feeding off your desire to live in a happier, healthier world through the good that you are doing.
While working or serving in a mobile health clinic may not be the perfect situation for everyone, the medical professionals who choose to do so will be met with amazing rewards.