Letters: Nurse practioners serve seniors well

Local nurse practitioner wants recognition for work they do

I am a nurse practitioner (NP) practicing within VIHA and I think it is time nurse practitioners were seen in B.C.

The people I see in the Seniors’ Outpatient clinic at the Royal Jubilee Hospital are age 75 and older and referred, by their primary care provider (physician or NP) most commonly for mobility and memory issues. My role, along with the team members I work with, is to maintain the independence and ability of our senior citizens to function in the community; to avoid hospitalization and ultimately to assist with transition to facility care if needed. I regularly see elderly patients who use walk-in clinics to access health care as there are few family physicians taking on new patients, others are retiring with fewer new physicians taking their place. This situation leaves the elderly, who frequently have multiple health concerns without a primary care provider.  Nurse practitioners have the education and training to work with people of various ages and are keen to work with our physician colleagues to provide primary care for both young and old in our communities.

Nurse practitioners were introduced into B.C.’s health care system in 2005 to improve access to primary health care services for British Columbians.  NPs work with patients in hospitals and clinics in urban and rural settings across the province, yet our work has been mostly invisible.  There are over 200 nurse practitioners in B.C. and over 250,000 patients without regular primary care providers. It is time for people to know about nurse practitioners.

NPs in B.C. are Masters-prepared primary care providers, licensed to assess, diagnose and treat patients with common episodic and chronic medical conditions. NPs focus on preventive care but can also order diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, make referrals to specialists and manage overall care when a person is sick. In short, NPs are qualified to provide quality, cost effective safe and timely primary care services and would be a wonderful addition to the team at the West Coast Family Medical Clinic.

Nurse practitioners need to be seen in B.C, do you see an NP? For more information about BC’s nurse practitioners go to www.BCNPA.org

Coleen Heenan

Nurse Practitioner (Adult)

Sooke

Just Posted

Mudslide closes viewing area at Sooke Potholes

Safety concerns have led to the closure

Second co-housing community planned for Sooke

Community described as a ‘new way of living’

Gas pipeline protest planned for Sooke

Local activists join with other protests across Canada

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Most Read