Sandspit clinic opens with new ultrasound machine

Sandspit’s new health clinic is in better shape than the old one, but slimmer, too.

With two procedure rooms, an office, waiting room, and medications room, the clinic once again shares the same building as the brand-new Agnes L. Mathers Elementary School.

“It’s very convenient for families,” said Matt Bolton, primary health care nurse at the Sandspit clinic. The clinic nurse handles vaccinations, childhood development screening, and also puts on workshops for the students next door — Bolton will soon give a talk on hand-washing, for example.

Besides being in a more modern building, the clinic also opened with a new ultrasound machine.

“A couple of the physicians are trained on that so we can do diagnostics in the clinic, which is really nice,” said Matt Bolton. The mobile device could diagnose organ problems or deep-tissue injuries or infections.

The new clinic is about 40 per cent smaller than the old one, but Bolton said some space was freed up as the clinic shed some outdated equipment, and because patient charts are digital now.

“I think people are happy there is still a clinic in Sandspit,” he said. “There’s mixed reaction. Some people prefer a larger space, which I understand, and other people are fine with the change.”

Physicians see patients at the clinic only on Tuesdays, and the half-hour appointments are often fully booked from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bolton occasionally sees patients at home as well.

For medical emergencies, most people call the ambulance and go directly to the hospital in Queen Charlotte — a trip that usually means holding the ferry, or going by stretcher on the Coast Guard boat if it’s after hours.