Calif. fire department pairs nurse with medic to cut ER runs

The year-long pilot program sends a nurse practitioner to treat patients on scene who don't need transport to the hospital


By Becca Smouse
USA Today

ANAHEIM, Calif. — A home-bound heart patient called 911. His leg hurt where a catheter was inserted, but he didn't complain of chest pains.

To paramedic Scott Fox, it was the kind of call that might have meant automatically rushing the man to a hospital emergency room. "There was no talking him out of it," Fox recalls. But now he had another option.

He arrived at the man's home with a nurse practitioner, Victoria Morrison, who calmed him down, checked him out and contacted his cardiologist to set up a next day appointment. "We saved the ER visit for a patient, which wouldn't have done anything for him anyways," Fox says.

Read full story: Cities put nurse practitioners alongside paramedics

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