Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) announced Wednesday that they have hired three new nurse practitioners (NP) who will start work in the Carberry, Virden and Swan River areas.

"It will certainly add to the care that patients receive and primary care clinics. Nurse practitioners can work independently to provide a spectrum of care within the primary care team, and they will work collaboratively with the physicians in the primary care group," notes Treena Slate, Chief Nursing Officer with Prairie Mountain Health.

Slate says that the health authority is about 90 doctors short of where they should be, so adding these three practitioners is a good step forward to provide primary care options in and around PMH communities

"Nurse practitioners can provide important support to our primary care team by working collaboratively with physicians. We are actively recruiting in a couple of our communities where we are at high need for primary care service."

PMH CEO Brian Schoonbaert says that the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals remains a top priority for the health region and the Province.

"Along with our health partners and stakeholders, which include our communities, we continue to look for ways to support, recruit and retain healthcare staff within PMH. By having NPs provide services from base locations across our region, we can maintain the provision of primary care closer to home,"

Upon receiving their full designation, Nurse Practitioners work independently and can provide many services, including:

  • Completing assessments and physical exams, including pap tests and pre-natal exams;
  • Diagnosing and managing common issues and chronic conditions; • Prescribing medications and therapies;
  • Ordering diagnostic tests like blood work, x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs; 
  • Performing minor procedures like suturing, biopsies, wart and mole removal; and
  • Referring to other health providers, including specialists.

As of June 2023, the region will have 26 NPs providing service within 27 PMH communities, nine of which are First Nation communities.