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Relocating for Work: Urban vs. Rural Hospitals

For healthcare workers, one of the biggest factors that can affect your job is location. Rural and urban hospitals have several key differences in the UK, that could affect your quality of life both in and out of work.

While urban living promises increased diversity, cultural hubs, and accessible public transportation systems, it also has disadvantages that a healthcare professional might want to consider. For example, with the current economic climate, the cost of living is an important factor to think about.

Overall, the cost of living is higher than in rural and suburban areas with everything seeming to have a higher price tag, from housing to your water bill.

In addition, as the cost of living is higher than in the city; healthcare professionals face a higher cost for a commute, especially into London. Although a job in a rural hospital may face financial burdens, with services resulting in cost pressures that are not properly reimbursed by existing funding models; you may want to consider working for a provider that faces 'structural deficits.

Rural hospitals also find it difficult to recruit for positions because most people want jobs in urban areas that provide easier transport links. If you want to work in a prestigious hospital, leading hospitals are usually headquartered in big cities with the very best roles only available to those with easy access to major urban centres.

Concerned about air quality? Unfortunately, high levels of pollution are unavoidable in most cities, you’ll encounter more rubbish, energy usage, and air pollution in a large city. High pollution levels come with a job in a city, which, unfortunately, can be detrimental to your health.

If the high amount of pollution is a deal breaker, why not take advantage of the fresh air and space rural locations offer for plenty of country walks escaping the chaotic energy of a big city?

However, living in the city gives you access to the best and biggest choice of shops, libraries, gyms, shopping centres, and leisure facilities right on your doorstep, often with 24/7 access.  Especially with nighttime shifts, easy access to the gym and shopping centres round the clock can help you achieve that all-important work-life balance.

But if you’re looking for a vaster experience in your job, working in a more rurally located hospital may provide you with a wider set of responsibilities, allowing you to wear more hats than in a hospital in the city.

Although, if you’re thinking workers in rural hospitals coast by, don’t be fooled, with many healthcare professionals experiencing other types of difficulties. Healthcare practitioners and professionals who live in rural areas experience reduced resources, issues of access to health, and a lack of community support. Nursing staff in particular working in rural settings have also reported challenges around access to technology and broadband, resulting in implications on patient care.

Smaller hospitals have significant challenges; many of the national standards and policies are not appropriately tailored to meet their needs.

 In addition, with quaint country life, expect difficulties with getting to and from work. Commuting can help separate work and home lives, but it can also take up valuable time in your day. This might be important in the life of a healthcare professional when time spent away from the hospital is precious.

However, someone with an emotionally stressful and demanding job can enormously feel the benefits of being more connected to the countryside, fresher air, and plenty of space can improve your well-being.

To check out both city and country-based vacancies, click here to submit your CV.