Author: Simonne Collins 1st year Management Intern Date: 19 June 2019 When faced with a new challenge we often create an advantages and disadvantages list when considering our options. For example, opportunities arise throughout our careers that make us think twice about remaining in our current position. In 2019, after developing my own advantages and disadvantages list, I took the opportunity to commence a new position as an Intern with the Australian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM). Shortly after accepting the intern position I was informed that I would be completing my first placement at a regional hospital in Victoria. As this placement draws to a close I’ve reflected on the many advantages of working in regional and rural health services including: Access to a diverse range of experiences Working in a regional or rural area has exposed me to a variety of different experiences. Some of the opportunities I have been able to experience working within a regional hospital include: Being a project lead to support service redesign and planning Attend and present to board and executive meetings Assist with budgeting, Develop, implement and evaluate models of care and clinical practice guidelines. Greater autonomy and responsibility Working in regional and rural health services provides various opportunities to work independently and take on additional responsibilities, such as influencing and shaping service delivery. Career progression opportunities My placement highlighted that working in regional and rural areas can fast-track career progression, as you’re exposed to a variety of different experiences and opportunities. Strong workplace relationships Regional and rural health services have staff working within smaller teams, which provides opportunities to develop strong professional and inter-professional relationships. During my regional placement opportunities for peer learning was encouraged, which strengthened my workplace relationships and supported my professional growth. Support for your professional growth During my placement I attended and participated in a variety of different opportunities which supported my professional growth. Regional and rural health services actively support staff to engage in professional development opportunities. Work-life balance A strong work-life balance is encouraged and embedded in most regional and rural health services. During my regional placement I was always supported to maintain a balance between work and other priorities in my life. Regional and rural lifestyle Living in a regional or rural area can provide many benefits including open spaces, fresh air, little traffic and a friendly environment. Strong sense of community I felt a strong sense of community throughout my regional hospital placement. Working in regional and rural health services is a vital and valued role in the local community. Often the health service was a focus for local media as community members had a vested interest in the health service’s development. Affordable lifestyle The cost of living in a regional or rural area is substantially less than in a metropolitan area. My living expenses reduced during my time spent at my regional placement, which enabled me to save more for future adventures. Peaceful commute During my regional placement I always enjoyed hearing the traffic report on the local radio, as a traffic incident or delay was rarely reported. Regional and rural health services also have accessible and inexpensive (or sometimes free) parking available. I would encourage all health managers and health professionals to consider “going to the country” throughout their careers as it will help to broaden and support career opportunities, experiences and development.