I thought I would sit down and try to answer a question that brings the Googlers to my site now that school is over. One question that comes up through my site meter is "what does a nurse practitioner do?" Here goes...
A nurse practitioner is a health care provider that can diagnose, treat, and monitor various disease processes. In some states, they can prescribe narcotics as well. So far, there are only four states that still won't allow this component of practice. In some states, a NP must have a collaborative agreement with a MD, some may require direct supervision. Some NPs may have their own private practices without physician oversight at all. NPs can obtain privileges at hospitals so that they can round. Some states allow NPs to admit their own patients to hospitals.
I have been practicing for the last two weeks at a Family practice office. I have seen lots of sinusitis, pharyngitis, otitis externa and media, and some sprains and strains. I had the doctor admit a patient with active chest pain and referred several patients out for colonoscopies, EGDs, and stress tests.
I have spent lots of time getting to know my patient's health histories and updating their med lists. I look forward to building a following of my own. There have been a few familiar faces recognized from the hospital that I used to work at and they are happy to see me in the office.
I will start making rounds at the nursing homes next month. I look forward to getting out of the office every now and then just to break things up. I can see how it can become very boring seeing the same things day in and day out.
The one thing I don't enjoy is all the patients coming out of the woodwork with requests to increase their pain meds and nerve pills. This is the one time that I am glad that I cannot write for those medications. I guess they figure a new face will give them what the doctor has already said no to.
The candy machine is permanently broken people!
I LOVE my job!