Residents of the Digby and Shelburne areas will soon have access to expanded collaborative health-care teams, thanks to the addition of four new nurse practitioners and family practice nurses.
The new professionals will serve up to 2,400 more patients in the Digby, Clare, Weymouth, Shelburne and Lockeport areas.
The province is giving Nova Scotia Health Authority an extra $3.6 million to hire 13 more nurse practitioners and nine family practice nurses across the province. The mix of professionals may change, depending on community needs and the recruitment process.
“Adding nurse practitioners and family practice nurses to a team gives patients better access to stronger health care,” said Clare-Digby MLA Gordon Wilson on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “This announcement means hundreds more people in western Nova Scotia will be able to get the health-care appointments, advice and treatment they need.”
“I’m encouraged by how patients and the community have embraced the collaborative team being created at the Digby health services centre,” said full-time nurse practitioner Adrienne Benoit, one of the four new professionals for Western Nova Scotia. “As someone who is new to the area, it is very satisfying to receive such a warm welcome from the community. We are looking forward to having a family practice nurse join our team.”
In the coming weeks the health authority will issue an expression of interest in some communities, for family practices interested in hosting nurse practitioners or family practice nurses. Once that is complete, it will post the new positions.
These nursing professionals will join collaborative care practices where they will complement the work of doctors and other practitioners. Together under one roof, they will deliver high quality, appropriate care, when patients need it most.
Nurse practitioners take advanced training that prepares them to diagnose and manage illnesses, order and interpret tests, and prescribe medication.
Family practice nurses are registered nurses who can independently assess, plan and co-ordinate care, make referrals, and evaluate how people are responding to treatment.
Patients of the Digby health centre will be contacted when the new providers are added and an appointment is available. People will be seen in Digby and Shelburne as the additional nurse practitioners and family practice nurses are hired and added into their new practices.