Midland Fire Department Partners With Midland Memorial For 68-NU - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Midland Fire Department Partners With Midland Memorial For 68-NURSE Program

by Kim Powell
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The sniffles and other flu-like symptoms are not always reasons to call 911, and yet, many do anyways. That's why a toll-free hotline, called 68-NURSE, has been created. Registered nurses are available 24-7 to help patients decide what is best for their condition. 

"If you're concerned that you need to be seen but you're not really sure, then they provide information and give you feedback on if it's something you can take care of at home. Maybe an urgent care center is a better place, try to help them find alternative levels of care other than going to the emergency room," Brandi McDonald, Director of Clinical Operations at Midland Memorial Hospital, said. 

Nurses at Midland Memorial have been using 68-NURSE for the last five years and recently partnered with the Midland Fire Department in hopes of decreasing the amount of non-emergency patients coming in through ambulances. 

"With the population in Midland right now, the amount of calls that the fire department is making, the 911 ambulance service, there's a lot going on at the hospital," Bryce Pruitt, a paramedic with the Midland Fire Department, said. 

"A lot of time those symptoms that they have they don't need an ambulance to come to the emergency room so we can provide some different services for that," McDonald said. 

68-NURSE won't just benefit the busy emergency room, though. It will also help paramedics respond to life-threatening situations. 

"Being able to get these ambulances available for more calls is going to help your neighbor, the citizens of Midland," Pruitt said. "If an ambulance isn't tied up on a non-emergent or a non-life-threatening call, that makes them available to respond to a heart attack or a stroke or something that does require the treatment of fire department or ambulance." 

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