New CEC ensures stable health care for West Prince
Amy Caulier was due for her night shift, but wasn’t feeling well and was unable to get in to see her family doctor.
She knew she needed immediate medical attention for what she suspected was a very uncomfortable urinary tract infection.
The 22-year-old Alberton resident decided to visit the new Collaborative Emergency Centre at the Western Hospital where she was met by a registered nurse and an advanced care paramedic.
“I was in and out in under a half hour, it’s a lot quicker than the old emergency room,” she said.
“I thought it was awesome.”
In November, Western Hospital’s emergency department started operating as a Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC), offering overnight (8 p.m. to 8 a.m.) care by a registered nurse and an emergency medical technician who are in contact with a physician by phone.
From its opening day on Nov. 4 until Nov. 30, 55 people sought overnight emergency care. Only 17 of those were transferred to the Prince County Hospital Emergency room.
“It’s working,” says Western Hospital Director of Nursing Faye Kingdon.
“It gives the community the reassurance and confidence that someone is here to see them 24/7 and it gives the health care professionals a chance to develop collaborative practice with another discipline.”
The complementary skills of the RNs and Advanced Care Paramedics are the strength of the model, says RN Stephanie Gaudet, who’s been working in the CEC since it opened.
“The team is working really well together,” she said.
“Every shift has been a very positive experience for me, patients are being assessed and treated quickly and we’re hearing a lot of positives.
“It feels great to be able to provide such a good service to the people of West Prince.”
The Western Hospital ER offers physician-based care from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Based on the Nova Scotia model, the Western Hospital CEC was intended to restore access to stable, around-the-clock emergency services in West Prince.
Its creation was part of government’s Better Access, Better Care announcement in March that also included two new rapid-response emergency vehicles – one stationed in Kings County and another in West Prince – and a new ambulance dedicated to transferring patients between facilities.