National EMS Week: Celebrating Our dedicated Medical Response Team 

| John Knox News

At John Knox Village of Central Florida, we love our medical professionals. And since the third week of May marks the 50th anniversary of National EMS Week, we thought we’d celebrate our on-call medical response team—one of the most essential benefits of our active senior living community. This highly trained group of experienced paramedics, EMTs and nurses are dedicated to address unexpected medical needs, giving our residents peace of mind that they can stay active and enjoy all of life’s vibrant moments. 

We asked Director of Clinical Services Nicole Vega to help us shine a spotlight on these faithful first responders.

Fast, Expert Response to Medical Concerns, Day or Night

When you choose a Life Plan Community, you expect that urgent medical needs will be addressed promptly. At John Knox Village, we take particular pride in our quick reaction times. Our on-call medical response program is managed by a registered nurse who serves as the main point of contact from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. Evenings and weekends are staffed by EMTs, paramedics and home health nurses, so there’s always someone available to answer the call.

So, what types of calls do the team respond to most often? “We see slip, trip and fall occurrences, or other minor accidents, as well as people concerned about cold or flu symptoms,” Vega explains. “And of course, COVID-19. We do lots of COVID-19 testing, especially during the winter months.” The team also helps residents clear up any confusion about prescriptions or treatment plans they’ve received from their physician and are always available to check residents’ blood pressure, oxygen or other vital signs.

“We always want people to call 911 for a life-threatening emergency,” Vega emphasizes. “But it’s a great comfort to know that if they feel nauseous or suffer a minor burn, they can just press a button and someone will be there to check on them.”

Dedicated/Steadfast Medical Care for Seniors with an Emphasis on Service

As director of clinical services for our retirement community, Vega is tasked with making sure our on-call medical response program is staffed by knowledgeable, highly qualified professionals. They also need strong assessment skills and must be able to determine quickly whether a higher level of care is needed.

But deep clinical knowledge isn’t the only quality she looks for. “Having a strong desire to serve is a must, because we don’t want anybody’s day ruined by some minor medical issue,” Vega explains. “Many of our calls are from people who are feeling a little ‘off,’ and it’s reassuring to have someone come out and calmly tend to their symptoms.”

She adds that several members of the on-call medical response team have also worked in Florida’s theme parks, so providing exceptional service is part of their DNA.

Like Spokes on a Wheel: How Medical Response Fits into Our Continuum of Care

Cultivating physical, social and emotional wellness is built into the lifestyle of our Orange City senior living community. And that helps residents stay healthy and active for as long as possible. Folks also feel comfortable knowing that every level of care is provided right here on campus should their health needs change. 

Often, our on-call medical response team plays a key role in helping folks maintain their independence by addressing small problems before they become unmanageable. “Anytime they respond to a call, it gives us the opportunity to make sure that person is happy and thriving,” Vega explains. “And when there’s an area of concern, we can address it quickly.”

If a resident is experiencing frequent falls, for example, the solution might be as simple as changing their eyeglass prescription, removing a rug or adding some home health services. “Our medical response staff always spends time talking with patients and building relationships, so they’re often the first to notice potential concerns,” Vega says. “And the sooner these issues are dealt with, the sooner folks can get back to the active, vibrant life they came here to enjoy.”

Taking a Little Extra Time to Make a Big Difference

Because our on-call medical response professionals are deeply engaged with the residents of our senior living community, they’re eager to go the extra mile. Sometimes that means visiting residents in hospice care to ease their anxiety and provide some extra comfort. Other times it means going out of their way to make someone’s day.

“Recently one resident was in the hospital and nearing the end of his life,” Vega explains. “He wanted to see his beloved dog one last time, so our nurse made arrangements with the hospital staff to bring the dog in. He was so happy, he called us to express his gratitude.”

There have even been times when members of our medical response team have made life-saving interventions. Vega recalls one occasion where a patient was experiencing fever and chills, but was hesitant to seek further medical care. “The team noticed that he was also experiencing some trembling,” she says, “so they gently encouraged him to visit the hospital. It turned out that his condition was actually quite serious, and he was hospitalized for some time.

“But the good news is, he’s back in our senior living community, and is doing great. And that’s what makes it all worthwhile.”

Find Peace of Mind and Live Every Day to the Fullest

Retirement living is all about exploring new interests, pursuing your passions and enjoying every moment with family and friends. Unexpected medical concerns should be the last thing you worry about—and thanks to the dedicated medical care for seniors at John Knox Village of Central Florida, it will be.

To learn more or to schedule a tour of our Orange City senior living community, call (386) 775-0788.