ANAHEIM, Calif. (USA TODAY) – 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.
This city is one of several around the country that are looking to provide better patient care and cut costs by having nurse practitioners ride alongside paramedics on non-urgent calls. When it comes to a twisted ankle or minor stomach pain, the two work together to find a solution that avoids a trip to the ER.