At Humboldt General Hospital, paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) do much more than provide medical care in an emergency. They help people in our community get the healthcare and resources they need to live healthier, safer lives.
What is community paramedicine?
Community paramedicine is a relatively new way to provide healthcare and promote wellness in rural areas where gaps in care might exist. It helps increase access to healthcare—for example, by providing primary care, health education, and other services to people in their own homes.
Many of our patients are older adults who are unable to get to their doctor's office and are living with one or more chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They may have recently been discharged from the hospital or the emergency room (ER).
We are not a home health agency, however. We are part of HGH EMS Rescue. We are paramedics, EMTs, and advanced EMTs. We have special training in community paramedicine in addition to our EMS licenses and certifications.
Services our community paramedics and EMTs provide
Community paramedicine does not replace your primary care provider. Instead, they work closely with your provider to help you get the care and services your provider has ordered for you.
For example, during a home visit, they may:
- Help teach you to manage a chronic health condition and go over your hospital discharge instructions with you. They might teach you how to do insulin and blood-sugar checks to manage diabetes or show you pursed-lip breathing to help with COPD. Learning about your disease may help you feel better and prevent you from having to go to the ER.
- Explain your medications and help you set up a pillbox.
- Do a home safety check to find potential hazards that might cause a fall or other injury.
- Perform some healthcare services. For example, they may monitor your vital signs, collect a blood draw, give you immunizations or provide simple wound care.
- Help you get any community resources you may need. This may include home-delivered meals, rides to doctor visits, help with utility bills, or help applying for health insurance.
Community paramedicine also works with home health agencies, social services, and other area organizations to provide services.
Learn more about community paramedicine services
Are you interested in receiving community paramedicine services? Talk to your primary care provider to find out if this service is right for you.
You can learn more about our services by calling 775.623.5222, ext. 1687.