Despite being a first-world country with many top-end products and services, including healthcare, the United States is still one of the most dangerous developed nations for childbirth. This is only getting to be increasingly dangerous as more and more counties get rid of or lose their obstetric hospitals, providers, and birth centers, creating areas known as maternity ‘deserts’. This describes the status of about 36% of US counties as of 2022.
Interests and warnings about maternity deserts began around 2018 but were buried by the force of COVID. Now that daily life is seemingly stable, we are seeing the sharp decline the maternity fields have suffered in the last two years alone. A 2% uptick in diminishing care has been seen since 2020, primarily in rural areas, meaning that it is currently effecting about 7 million women of childbearing age and, potentially, 500,000 babies.
What is Being Done Now?
March of Dimes, who has been at the forefront of tracking and tackling this issue, is adding mobile health units to its current fleet of maternity care centers. This will allow them to provide care in rural areas that do not yet have the people or the funding to create their own birthing or OB centers. By donated, volunteering, or applying to their roles, you too can help combat the growth of maternity deserts.
What Can Companies Do?
It is up to rural companies to put out enticing offers. That does not mean that rural groups need to compete on the same level as those in cities or other high-traffic locations. Instead, it means playing to your strengths. Follow these tips here to get started:
- Start off by reading the two blogs we have that specify how to create a successful job post in a rural location:
- Work with Radius to ensure that your job postings are seen by the right candidates
- Consider travel or temp-to-perm contracts for necessary staff
- Create and maintain maternity wards or temporary maternity settings
What Can Candidates Do?
Candidates are limited in how they can help, but they can help all the same! While they cannot make new jobs to help close the gap, they can fill new jobs or recommend other fitting possibilities. Check out these tips before applying to your next job:
- Check out our previous blog about the ups and downs of a rural job here!
- Suggest temp-to-perm or travel roles for jobs where you can help but are unsure that you will be interested in the long-term
- Reach out first. There is nothing wrong with reaching out to a remote location and seeing if they have specific open roles. If they do not at that time, they might instead have another suggestion to try or will likely reach out for an open role later on.
Of course, the best way for companies and candidates to team up and solve issues like these is to work with Radius Staffing Solutions. Radius works alongside both parties to ensure that both candidates and companies will be happy with their partnership. If you are looking to post a new job and want to speak with a recruiter, click here. If you are a candidate who is interested in a new role, either send us an updated resume here or apply to an open opportunity here.