One of the most common questions that I get asked on an almost daily basis is "what the heck is a nurse practitioner anyway"?
I have been asked this question through social media and as well on a regular basis as I attend to patients in house calls and at the clinic sites where we offer medical care.
In this video, I attempt to answer this question which is challenging to do because there's so much depth and complexities involved with the way NP’s provide care but hopefully I'll give you a good idea about what Nurse Practitioner care encompasses.
Nurse practitioners (NP) started their career as a nurse which gave them the expert skills of therapeutic communication, caring, holistic care, advocacy and so much more that they now bring into their everyday practice while providing medical care! Medical care provided with the philosophy and approach of a nurse is what makes NP's unique and different!
The NP on Wheels program (www.nponwheels.com) offers house calls and on-site care for patients of all ages and even though we are private (cash-based practice), we have numerous patients who decide to become our regular patients even though their income is low and they depend on disability and income assistance to live.
We service all levels of the socioeconomic status as patients and offer a holistic approach to primary care, de-prescribing programs and provide addiction care, mental health services and so much more for all ages. People can choose to have a Nurse Practitioner as their primary care provider instead of having a physician in our health care system and many people are not aware of this.
In fact, I tell my patients…if they ask you who your “family doctor” is, I get them to say “my family doctor is a Nurse Practitioner”. This is the question (“who is your family doctor?”) that patients get asked all of the time when they attend a clinic or the emergency room despite the fact that there are thousands of Nurse Practitioners across the country that patients see exclusively for their family care. Our system is definitely way behind when NP’s have been independent now for many years. They should be asking patients “who is your current primary care provider” as this would make far more sense!
Anyways, Nurse Practitioners are advance practice nurses who have studied medical care and who can provide a full scope of medical care including prescriptions, arrange diagnostic testing (blood, CT, MRI, ultrasound etc), diagnose and treat conditions and refer to specialists when needed. We bring medical care to people with the thinking of a nurse, which makes us very unique and different than the way regular medical care is provided. Its not an easy concept to understand as there are many related complexities that are hard to completely define here, but hopefully this post and video gives you a good idea!
In the next videos, i will be giving case examples which highlights just HOW a nurse practitioner care is unique and different. If you have any specific questions you would like answered in this regard, please ASK!
You can comment here, email firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are a Nurse Practitioner who would like to get into independent practice, please sign up for more information at www.npautonomy.com and SHARE with other NP’s as well that you think may be interested!
Diane Gudmundson has been an NP for over 14 years. She has a passion for the value and uniqueness of the NP role in our health care system.