A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse trained in advanced practice who can provide care to patients throughout the span of years, from premature newborns to the elderly.
Nurse practitioners are an integral part of the overall health care provider system.
Nurse practitioners must utilize critical thinking skills when obtaining relevant information about their patient’s health status.
They may sometimes need to consult a wide variety of sources, such as the patient’s verbal responses to interrogatories, the clinical examination of the patient and the results of diagnostic tests.
They must make use of the acquired data to independently make evidence-based decisions about their patient’s conditions and potential treatments.
A nurse practitioner must be able to cope well with stress, as their work places them in a position of direct involvement with human suffering, life-threatening emergencies and other pressures.
Nurse practitioners can perform any of the following comprehensive and focused health care interventions:
Identification and treatment of common acute illnesses and injuries
Provide necessary immunizations
Management of chronic health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression
Order and evaluate diagnostic tests such as EKGs, X-rays and laboratory tests
Prescribe therapies and routine medications
Perform medical procedures
Providing counseling and educational services to patients and their families and caregivers about healthy lifestyle choices and health care options
Nurse practitioners have the authority to practice independently in 26 states. They can prescribe medications in all 50 states, including controlled substances.
Must be able to handle pressure and the demanding work and long hours that comes with their job title.
NPs are on their feet all the time and need to be able to respond quickly to situations as they arise.
They must manage the stress and pressure that comes with their job.
Being able to relate to patients on an emotional level and understand what they go through is super important for NPs because interact with patients constantly.
Must be able to situate tasks and documents so as not to mix up records or medications.
They must communicate between patients and their families so they have to communicate clearly and relay information at a high level.
Becoming a nurse practitioner and advancing in the field takes time, so it's important to take it slow and easy and save yourself a ton of anxiety.
NPs have a ton of tasks they must perform, so they have to pay attention so as not to mix up medications and seriously injure or harm a patient.
Must constantly be devising new ways of interacting with people, adapt to changes, and learn about the things a medical professional needs to know.
There are approximately 15 percent of all nurse practitioners providing health care services in their own private practices.
There are also a growing number of nurse-managed health care centers across the United States.
In these facilities, all of the health care is provided by and directed by nurse practitioners working in collaboration with other health care professionals.
In addition to private practice, nurse practitioners may find employment opportunities in the following areas:
Managed care organizations
Service organizations focusing on rural areas
Community health centers in urban areas
Community college and university campuses
Employee wellness and health care centers
Health care technology companies, such as pharmaceutical manufacturers
Health care research facilities
Educational roles in schools and universities
Governmental agencies, such as health departments or military service
Depending on the area where he or she is working, the nurse practitioner’s work schedule may be a standard workweek, or it may include weekend and holiday rotations. There may be on-call hours required, as well.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are highly and actively recruited as the number of primary care physicians decreases nationwide. NPs will continue to be sought after as the demand for health care services continues to increase.
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