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Nurses Taking Non-Emergency Medical Calls At Las Vegas Dispatch

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A program in Las Vegas has nurses handling patient calls at a fire department dispatch center, where they offer over-the-phone counseling to people who may need medical care but not necessarily an ambulance.

Kari Dawson is one of eight registered nurses involved in the program that kicked off in July. She's also a pediatric emergency room nurse at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center.

She tells the Las Vegas Review-Journal a lot of people whose calls are routed to her don't have a primary care physician and might not know they don't need an ambulance.

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In some cases, the nurse can summon a rideshare service to take someone to a hospital or an urgent care facility.

Assistant Las Vegas Fire Chief Sarah McCrea says $300,000 has been allocated for the program.