Nova Scotia’s complex geography creates unique challenges when it comes to providing rural communities with access to primary health care. On two remote islands known as Long and Brier, paramedics are able to bridge the gap with special skill-sets that are specific to the needs of those communities.
In addition to emergency health care via ambulance, patients can also receive care from Community Paramedics in a clinic. These paramedics received additional training and education so they may provide wound care (dressings, suture/staple removal), phlebotomy, congestive heart failure assessment, medication compliance, risk-of-fall assessments, immunizations and hypertension monitoring.
Community Paramedics work collaboratively with a patient’s primary health care provider to assess and treat medical complaints. If patients cannot get to the clinic due to mobility issues, paramedics can often bring this service to their homes.