Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
People can feel adrift and unsure of what to do when they or their loved ones have medical issues, especially if they do not have a family doctor. This can lead to unnecessary emergency room visits. Although 211 Service Navigators are not medically trained, they do have an extensive knowledge of the human service system, and can refer callers to different options to assist them with health care.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a woman from Saint John.. Her daughter had been sick for a couple of days, and she did not have a family physician. She was concerned about her daughter, but did not feel that her daughter was in any danger or in need of hospital care. However, she did want her daughter to be assessed by a medical professional. She was wondering what she could do besides taking her to the emergency room of a local hospital.
The Service Navigator referred the caller and her daughter to 811 for medical advice from a registered nurse. The Service Navigator also gave her the contact information for Maple/EVisitNB, an online resource for people with no family doctor in New Brunswick, and explained how the service worked.
The caller took the time to copy the information and thanked the Service Navigator for the assistance. The Service Navigator had been able to provide the caller with two resources in her area for medical support even though she currently did not have a family doctor. The caller accepted the information given, and stated that she was very thankful. The Service Navigator reflected that It was very important to provide more than one option to callers when possible, so that they can choose which resource would be best for them or for their loved ones.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
When someone is living on a low income, it is devastating to lose the food that they have bought to last them until their next cheque. When people are faced with this or any other food-related crisis, 211 is a good place to call. Service Navigators will problem solve with callers and find programs to assist them through hard times.
A single parent with two small children called 211 seeking help. The caller was receiving Social Assistance and their fridge had stopped working the day before their call. The caller had just used their money for the month to fill the fridge and everything in the fridge had spoiled. The caller did not have money to spare and Social Assistance was unable to help them buy food to replace what they had lost. They badly needed more food and a new refrigerator. They exclaimed to the Service Navigator: “I had just used my cheque to fill my fridge and now it’s all gone!”
The caller was provided with referrals for a furniture bank and to the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland, which has a food bank. The caller was referred to an alternate food bank, as they would need quite a bit of food to last until their next payment from Social Assistance. The Service Navigator also suggested looking at Facebook Marketplace for a possible reduced cost household appliance. The caller thanked the Service Navigator for the referrals and guidance and said that they would call again if needed.