Rural health facilities provide quality care

HOLTON (KSNT) – You don’t always have to go to a big city hospital to get quality care. That’s the message rural hospitals are telling the communities they serve.

Dr. Clint Colberg finds working at a rural hospital more rewarding than in a ‘big city’ one.

“The biggest benefit of a rural hospital is just the ability to know each and every one of your patients,” Dr. Colberg says.

Despite smaller budgets and smaller staffs, rural facilities say they can provide care equal to larger, metropolitan facilities that local residents may not even know about.

For example, the Holton Community Hospital has a level four trauma center and is a stroke ready facility.

“But sometimes just that 30 minute drive from here to Topeka, you know not having the stabilization can be a matter of life or death for some people,” Director of Nursing at Holton Community Hospital, April Zeller says.

The hospital’s Director of Nursing also says most health facilities in rural areas tend to have their nurses certified in multiple areas.

“Just to care for the different variety of populations,” Zeller says.

But it’s that one on one with patients that drew Dr. Colberg to Holton.

“They’re you know our friends, our neighbors, we see them out in the community and you know we kind of know what’s going on in their lives so I think it allows us to be pretty effective in caring for them,” Dr. Colberg says.

The hospital’s nurses say not all rural hospitals offer the same services. Before an emergency even occurs you should call your local health facility to find out what services they have available to you.

Doctors also say that going to a ‘big city’ hospital can be more costly to patients depending on whether they have health insurance, what’s covered, and why they’re being treated.

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