When you go to the doctor’s office, you may actually see a nurse practitioner. This is not a negative scenario, as this registered nurse has advanced training and knowledge. A practitioner may even provide care you would not get from a doctor. If you decide to select a primary care nurse practitioner, you can have…
Is a Nurse Practitioner as Good as a Doctor?
A nurse practitioner starts their career as a registered nurse. They choose to gain further skills by pursuing a graduate or master’s nursing degree. Over the course of their training, a nurse practitioner learns how to provide primary care to patients of different ages, who have varied medical needs.
Upon completion of their training, a nurse practitioner becomes certified at the federal and state level. The certification allows them to provide the kind of care that patients receive from a primary care physician.
So, does that make a nurse practitioner similar or comparable to a doctor? What are the benefits and downsides of getting medical care from a nurse practitioner instead?
What a nurse practitioner does
Nurse practitioners have more training than registered nurses, but less training than doctors. That said, the training they get allows them to take on tasks and responsibilities that were previously reserved for doctors alone.
This means that a nurse practitioner can diagnose an illness by performing a physical exam and ordering medical tests. Nurse practitioners also have the skill to perform some medical tests themselves. The practitioner can interpret the test results and arrive at a diagnosis based on this interpretation.
Based on this diagnosis, the nurse practitioner can craft a treatment plan. The nurse practitioner can prescribe medication, refer the patient for specialized treatment or oversee some form of therapy.
A nurse practitioner will give the same quality of care as a general physician
Most nurse practitioners spend many years working as registered nurses. In their capacity as nurses, they take care of patients, performing tasks like administering medication and monitoring patients. They add to this knowledge with further education. Their training as nurse practitioners culminates in a residency that allows them to practice their newly learned skills.
In the end, a qualified nurse practitioner will give accurate diagnoses, just like physicians. They will provide safe and effective treatment, just like physicians. Their training as nurses also teaches them a great bedside manner that patients love. By establishing a relationship with their patients, nurse practitioners are able to provide holistic, long-term care for their patients.
Overall, the patient enjoys just as good an outcome as they would with a doctor.
When to see a doctor instead of a nurse
That being said, there are things a doctor can do that a nurse cannot. In certain states, a nurse practitioner must operate in collaboration with a doctor. Also, when a patient needs a surgical procedure or help from a specialist, a nurse practitioner will ask a doctor to step in.
Choose a nurse practitioner for your long term health care needs
A nurse practitioner is uniquely qualified to take care of your overall health. They will focus on all aspects of your health in order to provide a holistic approach to your wellbeing. If you want primary health care that helps you prevent illness, treat common problems or manage health conditions, then get in touch with our practice at Seiling.
We will walk you through the different levels of care that we provide to our patients.
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