A journey through rural community radiography practice in South-South Nigeria: radiographers' perceptions, willingness and barriers
Keywords:barriers, communities, radiography, rural
Introduction. The lack and retention of healthcare professionals in rural areas has become a serious concern to the health sector globally. Retaining health staff in rural areas has proven difficult as young professionals prefer urban postings. This study aimed to assess radiographers’ perceptions, willingness and barriers to work in rural areas of Rivers State.
Method. This cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted among radiographers in Rivers State. The participants’ socio-demographic variables and their responses to perceptions, willingness and barriers to work in rural areas were obtained and analysed.
Results. Only 30% (n=12) of the participants were willing to work in the rural areas of Rivers State. The majority of the participants (95%; n=38) indicated they were willing to work in rural areas due to the incentive they received in the form of extra remuneration. Most participants indicated that unfavourable working conditions (88%; n=35), poor housing (85%; n=34) and militant activities (88%; n=35) in rural areas, as well as their marital status (55%; n=22) as reasons for being unwilling to work in these areas in Rivers State. There were statistically significant relationships between the participants’ willingness to work in the rural areas of Rivers State and their biological sex (χ2 = 48.000, p=0.000), years of working experience (χ2 = 47.500, p=0.000), marital status (χ2 = 84.966, p=0.000) and age (χ2 = 76.758, p=0.021).
Conclusion. The results of this study suggest that the majority of the radiographers were not willing to work in the rural areas of Rivers State. The main reasons identified are unfavourable working conditions, poor housing, militant activities and marital status. It was found that financial inducement could influence participants’ willingness to work in rural areas.
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