- TULIA -- Swisher Memorial Hospital has another way to help patients.

    A 24-hour advice line is now open for business.

    The advice line helps Swisher county residents determine if they need to seek immediate medical treatment from a doctor or if treatment is even needed at all.

    Swisher memorial sees about 2,200 patients each year in the emergency room.

    Between May of 2012 and April of last year, 27% of the cases in the ER were determined to be non-urgent.

    Chief nursing officer Kelly Maxwell says the advice line will help alleviate non-emergency visits to the ER and help those who otherwise may not seek medical treatment for various reasons.

    "Anybody can call it.  You'll get free nursing advice.  Of course if it's an emergency, gunshot wound, anything like that, you need to call 911 or go to the ER.  And the caller when they answer the phone will direct you to do that as well."  Maxwell said.

    Maxwell says the advice line will also benefit low income residents and those without insurance.

    The advice line is staffed 24-hours a day by a registered nurse and no call is considered silly.

    It's not just for non-emergency cases.  It's also available to patients seeking information after their primary care clinic or doctor's office is closed.

    The advice line is funded through a three year grant from the government.

    You can call the toll free advice line 24-hours a day at 877-785-1435


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