The Rural Telehealth Certificate Program (RTCP) incorporates a key component to rural healthcare, the use of telehealth. As the name indicates, this forward-thinking certificate program was established before telehealth became mainstream, when remote access to care was needed for rural dwellers. The updated course content is instructional in best practices when using telehealth for urban, suburban and rural-dwelling patients.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as “The use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.”
Nurse Practitioners, Medical Doctors, Social Workers, Pharmacists, Physical therapists and nutritionists are among the many different types of healthcare professionals that rely on telehealth to continue treatment programs, provide assessments as well as maintain routine care. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth was useful for providing access to care in rural areas, however, now, access to care for vulnerable patients everywhere is needed. The College of Nursing is well positioned to provide an online certificate program to educate the next generation of nurse practitioners and other health professionals about best practices when using telehealth.