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Navigating virtual urgent care: from apprehension to advocacy

A woman sits in a recliner chair in front of hospital equipment.

Nova Scotia Health is offering virtual urgent care services at All Saints Springhill Hospital. During the pilot project, patients with urgent, but non-life-threatening health matters could see a doctor virtually (online rather than in-person). 

Discover how one patient's journey through virtual urgent care transformed her outlook on virtual healthcare. From initial apprehension to newfound confidence, follow her story as she navigates a seamless and personalized experience, championing its use for others in need. 

Navigating an urgent health concern can feel overwhelming, especially when there's uncertainty in your community regarding access to healthcare providers. For Cathy Fisher, her experience with virtual urgent care provided relief that she would be taken care of and a newfound confidence in virtual healthcare.

Recalling her initial apprehension, Fisher said, "The first time, like anything new, you're not sure what to expect. I was under a lot of stress and didn't want to leave the appointment even more stressed."

However, her fears were quickly eased by the professionalism and expertise of the staff. "The staff were absolutely fantastic; they knew what they were doing," she remarks, highlighting the seamless transition into her virtual appointment.

The virtual consultation felt like "sitting down and talking to your doctor just like they were in the room with you," Fisher said. "I didn't have to do anything...they set everything up on the computer. I didn't even have to touch it. The whole team was wonderful from start to finish," she adds.

Acknowledging the hesitancy towards unfamiliar healthcare services, she urges others not to be afraid. "People are don't know how you're going to be treated. What's going to happen? What isn't?" she said, encouraging others to embrace the opportunity.

"Change can be frustrating and especially hard on seniors. The experience is no different than before; you can get x-rays ordered and prescriptions filled."

Recalling her consultation's attentive and unhurried nature, she rated the experience a "10/10." "The doctor listened to me... she really took the time to listen," she said.

Encouraged by her positive experience, she took to social media to share her story, hoping to alleviate concerns and inspire others in Springhill to explore virtual care options. "I put it on Facebook right after...I want people to see how it's done," she asserts, emphasizing the importance of awareness and education. "People have to know that we are being taken care of...this is a good thing," she said.

"If you don't hear about it, you don't know about it... I hope by sharing my story, I can inspire others not to be afraid and see what virtual care can do to help," she said.

To learn more about virtual urgent care at All Saints Springhill Hospital, such as hours of operation, click here

Photo of Cathy Fisher.

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