Understanding scope in a rural and remote health practice context
Role of generalist
In the rural or remote setting, clinicians have a broad scope of practice. The caseload may include clients of all ages and with different cultures. The health professional will assess and treat a wide range of conditions (e.g. developmental, acquired, chronic disease, cardiac, rehabilitation, neurodegenerative) and may use a number of different modes of service delivery (e.g. inpatient, outpatient, community based, home visiting, telehealth, outreach service). You may also have limited resources available to treat these conditions. A placement in a rural and remote setting will provide you with variety and an exposure to different models of service delivery. Clinicians are often required to be an expert generalist. SARRAH has further information on the role of a Rural Specialist Generalist.
In rural and remote areas, teamwork is a key part of providing effective health services to the community. It is important to have an understanding of team work in the rural setting and the roles within the team. SARRAH provides information about team work for rural practitioners that will give you an insight into effective team practice.
Working within your scope of practice
At all times, it is important that you work within your own scope of practice. You need to be aware of your current skills and knowledge base as well as the scope of practice of your profession. Each profession has a published code of ethics that defines the scope of practice.