Jessica Wurst, Community Paramedic in Fraser Lake. (Submitted photo)

Here are some changes to the Fraser Lake Community Paramedicine program amidst COVID-19

Jessica Wurst, community paramedic in Fraser Lake answers some questions about her role in the community as well

Amidst the virus pandemic, Fraser Lake Community Paramedics are adapting and changing their practice, while working with the local health care team to alleviate some demand and workload they face.

Here’s what they have changed in regard to Fraser Lake’s Community Paramedicine program. Jessica Wurst, Fraser Lake’s Community Paramedic supplied the Omineca Express with the information listed below.

  • All of their home visits have been switched to phone visits, unless there is an absolute need for the Community Paramedic to enter a home for a medical checkup.
  • They can help pick up groceries, medications and supplies if people need help and are struggling to secure basic necessities.
  • The Community Paramedics are also working with the health care team to compile a list of members in the community, beyond their CP clients, who would benefit from a telephone check-in on a regular basis. If you know someone who would benefit from a telephone check-in please reach out.
  • They are also encouraging community members to visit the BC Centre for Disease Control for the very latest information and resources: www.bccdc.ca.

READ MORE: ‘Different than anything we’ve ever seen’: How B.C. paramedics are responding to COVID-19

To help explain a Community Paramedic’s job in Fraser Lake, the Omineca Express spoke with Jessica Wurst about her role in the community and some personal likes and dislikes! (This interview with Jessica Wurst was first published in the March 25 edition of the Vanderhoof Omineca Express)

Q: As a Community Paramedic, what are some of your tasks within Fraser Lake?

A: I get to do a variety of tasks within the community.

  • Home visits with patients — I check patient’s vitals and we work together on any health goals.
  • Wellness Clinics — I hold a wellness clinic at Autumn Center once a week. The clinic is a good place to ask any of your health questions.
  • Outreach and Awareness — Lots of education and sharing knowledge and information about community paramedicine. I have recently done handwashing presentations at the elementary school and Stop The Bleed at the high school. We also do presentations with community groups and local health care team.

Q: When did you become a Community Paramedic?

A: I started in the Community Paramedic program in September of 2019. I have been a paramedic for approximately two years prior. Right now, I get the best of both worlds as I am a Community Paramedic during the week and work on the ambulance responding to medical emergency calls on the weekends.

Q: What do you love about your job?

A: I love that my job varies so much from day to day. I am always on the go. I am a people person and enjoy being able to meet clients in their homes. I have also really been enjoying providing education in the schools. It has been a new and challenging experience but something I never expected to enjoy as much as I do.

Q: Something you would like to explain to residents about your role in the community.

A: Community Paramedics are in rural and remote communities to help residents living with chronic conditions, primarily older adults, to live independently and safely in the community. To be part of the community paramedic program, reach out to your local health-care provider for a referral.

Q: Are you originally from Fraser Lake? If not, where did you move from? Why?

A: I grew up in Chilliwack, B.C. I moved North when I accepted a position to be a Primary Care Paramedic about two-years ago. I started my career with BC Emergency Health Services based in Vanderhoof. The Fraser Lake Community Paramedic position became available and I took the opportunity to be a part of the community.

Q: What do you love about Fraser Lake?

A: I love the great sense of community and you can always find amazing things to do each day. The Autumn Centre always has great events going on. During my short six months in this community, I have felt unbelievably welcomed by the health care team and many in the community.

Q: What are some of your hobbies?

A: I am up for anything that gets me outside. I love downhill skiing, hiking, yoga (a new hobby since starting the CP program), and knitting.

Q: Is there someone you look up to? Who?

A: I look up to community paramedic Cathy Scott as she is my mentor and partner within the community. We have so much fun together while we work and it’s really enjoyable collaborating together on different community projects.

If you have questions about Fraser Lake’s Community Paramedicine program, or require assistance, please contact them at: (778)-259-0911, or by email at: CP.Fraserlake@bcehs.ca.


Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com

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