Residents in the Gold River area living with chronic conditions may soon have the support of a community paramedic visiting them in their homes on a regular basis. This service is part of BC Emergency Health Services’ (BCEHS) new community paramedicine program being rolled out in rural and remote communities throughout BC.
Gold River’s community paramedic is long-time resident Donna Schneider, who has been a paramedic since 1999 and became the ambulance station’s unit chief in 2008.
Donna is now completing a 14-week orientation program designed to help community paramedics develop the competencies for applying their current scope of practice in a primary health care setting, and will begin providing services to patients in their home by the end of this year.
“My first priority will be getting a deeper understanding our local community and the Tsaxana First Nations community, and helping them understand how community paramedicine can provide additional health care support in the home,” Donna said. “I’m looking forward to working with the other health care professionals in Gold River, and to helping patients better self-manage their health so they can stay in their homes longer.”
Donna will be working as a community paramedic 20 hours per week during two 10-hour shifts. While carrying out these duties, she’ll visit patients in a specially-marked community paramedicine vehicle.
Patients are referred by their physician or a member of the local health care team, who are also responsible for determining the patient’s care plan. Services provided by the community paramedic include checking blood pressure, helping with diabetic care, identifying fall hazards in the home, medication self-management assessments, post-injury or illness evaluation, and assisting with respiratory conditions.
To find out more visit the BCEHS website at www.bcehs.ca.