If you find yourself in a Tucson public library these days, you may be in the company of a fellow nurse.
The Arizona city has become the first in the nation to add RNs to some branches to provide health services to the community’s underprivileged residents, NBC reports.
One nurse began serving six library branches just over a year ago, and five more nurses have since been added on a part-time basis. Also, during that time, 911 calls from the main branch seeking police help have dropped by 14 percent, and 911 calls from another branch have dropped by 60 percent.
Tucson officials were inspired to start the program when the San Francisco Public Library became the first library in the country to add a social worker in 2010. A Tucson official calls having a registered nurse at the library “social work plus,” as they are able to address social work needs as well as other health and community health related issues.
Since the program launched, officials have been contacted with questions from other library systems interested in the program, and a nursing program is being considered in libraries in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
What are your thoughts? Are nurses at the library a great way to provide healthcare to those who may not otherwise receive it, or is it a waste of taxpayer dollars? Voice your opinion in the comments below.