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Motivated by treating patients comfortably at home

Motivated by treating patients comfortably at home

This month Wellington Free Ambulance celebrates 10 years of its Urgent Community Care Service (UCC).

James Currie, one of our UCC Paramedics.

UCC is a special service that’s offered to patients in Kāpiti and Porirua, when their health needs are unexpected and urgent, but can be safely treated at home, without a trip to the hospital.

James Currie is one of a team of Extended Care Paramedics (ECPs) working in Porirua as part of the UCC service. ECPs are specially-trained and equipped to assess and treat patients at home, with further options of referring them to a GP or other health professional through community care pathways.

Visiting and treating patients, while offering a free to all service, is what really motivates James to come to work every shift.

“Being able to treat patients at home and put into place plans that will allow them to stay there is incredibly rewarding,” James says.

“I have found that patients and their families really appreciate what we do and the time we spend with them. It’s also nice to follow up with phone calls or visits to see how they are going, especially if they are alone, or isolated.”

Throughout the day, James can attend various jobs, ranging from simple falls without injury, to palliative care patients. Other jobs can include treating patients at home, and referrals to local medical centres.

“Being on your own at jobs can be quite daunting at times, but knowing that other ECPs or the Clinical Paramedic Advisors on the clinical desk are at the other end of the phone is very reassuring. There’s a willingness to help and support others throughout the service.”

Developing the relationship with local medical centres, GPs and other medical professionals is an additional highlight for James.

“When I am not busy, the local medical centres are more than happy for me to come in and ask questions, observe or be involved in assessment and treatment. I find that building these relationships and making them aware of our scope of practice allows us to better treat people in the community, and to provide the best outcome or treatment plan overall,” James says.

“I’ve learnt a lot which has only improved on what I do. It’s also shown me how little I know in the grand scheme of things, making me want to learn even more,” he says.

Looking at where UCC has come, James hopes the service will be available to all regions of Greater Wellington one day.



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