“She was like our guardian an­gel”

Res­i­dents up­set with the loss of nurse

The Southern Gazette - - SPORTS - BY WES­LEY HAR­RIS TC COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Once you take away from peo­ple a ser­vice they have had for years, they are bound to be up­set.

If that ser­vice is in health care, they could be dou­bly ag­i­tated.

About 30 res­i­dents of Her­mitageSand­yville, in­clud­ing the two paramedics and two emer­gency med­i­cal re­spon­ders of the lo­cal am­bu­lance ser­vice, con­fronted Cen­tral Health’s Vice-Chair of Ru­ral Health Ser­vices Heather Brown on the park­ing lot of the Town Hall.

Ms. Brown was leav­ing a meet­ing with the town coun­cil and a coun­cil­lor from the neigh­bour­ing Town of Seal Cove.

Chant­ing “Save our Nurse!,” the group ex­pressed their dis­plea­sure at Cen­tral Health’s dec­la­ra­tion of re­dun­dancy of the po­si­tion of reg­is­tered nurse at the Her­mitage Med­i­cal Clinic, giv­ing rea­sons they be­lieved for the con­tin­u­ance of the nurs­ing po­si­tion, which had been there for 14 years.

Ms. Brown lis­tened to their con­cerns and re­it­er­ated some of the same points she had made ear­lier when she met with the coun­cil.

Mayor Steve Crewe said Ms. Brown, ac­com­pa­nied by Wendy Pierce and Bob Al­lan of the Con­nai­gre Penin­sula Re­gional Health Cen­tre, gave the ra­tio­nale for mov­ing the po­si­tion to Har­bour Bre­ton.

Mr. Crewe ex­plained, “Ms. Brown came with the sta­tis­tics to show that the skill set of the reg­is­tered nurse in the Her­mitage Clinic wasn’t al­ways the best use of re­sources – in other words Tammy Hol­lett of­ten did cler­i­cal du­ties (tak­ing ap­point­ments, fil­ing, etc.).

“She said that they would talk to the Dr. Sohi about his as­sum­ing some of the du­ties Tammy had per­formed like EKGs and blood pres­sure. She (Ms. Brown) also said Dr. Sohi un­der­stands the rea­sons why the reg­is­tered nurse po­si­tion was be­ing moved, leav­ing his clinic with a full­time cler­i­cal po­si­tion only.”

In their pre­sen­ta­tion to the three rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Cen­tral Health, the coun­cil was pre­pared with signed pe­ti­tions from each of the four com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by this change – McCal­lum, Gaultois, Seal Cove, and Her­mitage-Sandyville.

Mayor Crewe went through his ar­gu­ments one by one, some­times with a ques­tion from Deputy Mayor June Nash.

“We told Cen­tral Health that this was a bad de­ci­sion. We pointed out this was a neg­a­tive side to the open­ing of a dial­y­sis unit in Har­bour Bre­ton. We were los­ing our nurse who, over the 14 years, had worked closely with the doc­tor and had es­tab­lished a good re­la­tion­ship with the peo­ple of the four towns and had come to know a lot of their med­i­cal his­tory and could look af­ter some of their needs, es­pe­cially when the doc­tor was hold­ing clinic in the iso­lated towns or when he was away for other rea­sons.

“Cen­tral Health’s po­si­tion, though, is we don’t need a nurse in a med­i­cal clinic open for eight hours a day and the stats show there is not a great need for a RN po­si­tion in Her­mitage. We told Cen­tral Health they have not heard the last from us on this is­sue.

“I told them that we don’t want to lose her, and June told them they were tak­ing away an es­sen­tial ser­vice.”

Once Dr. Sohi an­nounces his plans to re­tire, Cen­tral Health prom­ises to be­gin re­cruit­ment for another doc­tor; if that fails, they will con­sider a full­time Nurse Prac­ti­tioner with a cler­i­cal po­si­tion for the Her­mitage Clinic.

Mean­while, the group of 30 pro­tes­tors out­side got a prom­ise from Heather Brown she would re­turn and meet with them at a pub­lic meet­ing.

One in the group was Melita Goods who, with her di­a­betic hus­band, was a fre­quent vis­i­tor at the Her­mitage Clinic.

“Tammy was like a guardian an­gel to us. We went to the clinic and she was al­ways so good to us and looked af­ter many of our needs. A wrong and ter­ri­ble de­ci­sion has been made here.”

The pro­tes­tors went home feel­ing the au­thor­i­ties had failed them in a ma­jor way, re­al­iz­ing ero­sion in their health care de­liv­ery had be­gun and they would travel to Har­bour Bre­ton more fre­quently in the fu­ture.

Har­bour Bre­ton Coaster

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