Due to recent confusion around the role of a nurse practitioner, the Dr. Kingston Memorial Community Health Centre would like to offer some clarity and dispel any misinformation that is out there.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced knowledge and education in primary health care.

A nurse practitioner can:

• Diagnose and treat health issues, such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other ongoing health conditions;

• Order and interpret tests, including blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs;

• Prescribe medications;

• Perform exams and procedures, such as pap tests, prostate exams, and immunizations;

• Provide health screening clinics such as well-baby, well-women, and well-men;

• Teach you how to manage an ongoing health condition, and offer ways to lead a healthy life;

• Focus on how your physical and mental health affects your life and family;

• Refer you to a specialist or other health care provider, if needed.

We are fortunate to have a collaborative team that includes a nurse practitioner, a family practice nurse, presently one doctor with patient panel and capacity for another, a social worker and a dietician.

The collaborative team work together using their skills and knowledge to complement and supplement the care provided by others. They work together to ensure the patient sees and is cared for by the person whose skills most closely match the needs of the patient.

We along with many other primary health care facilities in the province are going through physician coverage transition at this time. The Community Health Centre Board is committed to working to retain a qualified physician and are working diligently in that regard.

It is our hope that going forward, those who have concerns such as those expressed in a previous letter to the editor have the foresight to bring these concerns to management or the board for clarification, saving unnecessary stress, burden, and anxiety for many.

Let us focus our efforts on the real crisis at hand, and heed Public Health recommendations on social distancing, self-monitoring, self-isolation and isolation. We can all do our part in preventing the spread of Covid 19.

Sherry Sampson

Managing Director

Dr. Kingston Memorial Community Health Centre