Careers in healthcare seem to always be available. The future is bright for this field because advancements in healthcare are allowing people to live longer and encouraging preventative care and care for health issues more so than any other time in history. It doesn’t look like this will change either. With the changing landscape of healthcare, also comes changes in care providers. Nurse practitioners are one growing field that is getting a lot of attention.
What Is a Nurse Practitioner?
A nurse practitioner is an advanced level registered nurse. This type of nurse has competed graduate-level coursework and advanced training at college. These programs are quite popular and showing up at more schools, like the University of Cincinatti, and allowing students to learn more about nursing degree career options so they can make an informed choice to become an NP. With this advanced training and knowledge, an NP is able to do more than the typical RN. An NP can see patients, prescribe medications, and handle duties that a doctor would usually do, such as admitting patients to the hospital, reading test results, and making hospital rounds.
An NP is different from a doctor in that he or she uses a different approach to diagnosis and treatment. NPs approach patients with the whole body in mind instead of focusing in on the specific problem at hand. This whole-body approach is borrowed from Eastern medicine. The idea is to think about the patient as a person rather than focusing in on the problem and not thinking about the effect it is having on the patient overall. It is often considered a holistic approach to healthcare.
Why Should Patients Use an NP?
One of the main reasons why patients choose NPs over a doctor is the level of care. NPs usually offer more personal care and provide a well-rounded approach to treating conditions. In addition, they are more likely to collaborate with other medical providers to ensure care is as effective and all-encompassing as possible.
NPs also have more time to focus on patients. They may work alongside a doctor. If the doctor is called away on an emergency, the NP can still see patients. They will often incorporate a big picture approach to treatment, spending time to discuss lifestyle habits and help with any needs that go beyond just what the patient came in for that day.
Lastly, care from an NP usually costs less than that from a doctor. There are a couple reasons for this. First, the NP may not charge as much. Second, and more likely, the whole body approach to treatment allows NPs to pick up on more in one visit. This helps to get treatment for all issues at one time, reducing the number of return visits, and preventing other issues to pop up that could lead to costly medical needs in the future.
As you learn more about nurse practitioners, it becomes easier to see why so many people are making the switch and choosing an NP for their general health care provider. The field is growing at a nice rate, making it much easier to find an NP near you.