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Why Nurse Practitioners Are A Popular & Emerging Force In The Healthcare Field

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

 

More and more these days, Nurse Practitioners (also known as NPs) are quickly becoming popular as valuable providers and members of any healthcare team. They are highly educated and credentialed providers bringing unique expertise and personal experience to their patients' care and recovery. 

There are more than 300,000 NPs in the USA currently. Nurse Practitioners are found in the primary care setting approximately 75% of the time. It's very common to actually see an NP in your primary care provider's office instead of the medical doctor these days. That goes for something as simple as a wellness checkup all the way up to managing chronic disease and treating flu and strep. 

Different state laws allow varying levels of autonomy for nurse practitioners. Here in Texas, it allows NPs to manage their own patients under the oversight of a medical physician.  That means that, while they have oversight by a medical doctor, they have their own patients and can handle whatever medical or wellness issues their patients may present with. That means they can treat the patient right there and then in the clinic, or they can make a referral to a specialist for the patient when necessary. Just like the primary provider you've grown up seeing your whole life. 

Here are some of the things a Nurse Practitioner does on a daily basis:

  • Manage a patient's overall care and wellbeing
  • Prescribe medications and treatment when appropriate
  • Order imaging, lab work, and other diagnostic testing
  • Counseling
  • Treat chronic and acute conditions. Issues like infections, diabetes, injuries, and high blood pressure
  • Educate patients on lifestyle decisions, preventative counseling, disease prevention, and treatment options

Most NPs can be found in the primary care setting but there are also specialty NPs. For example, some are in the surgical arena. Some are in oncology or are working in the OBGYN field. Our NP here at Creek Stone Integrated Medical spent 12 years in the cardiology field. 

 

Why is there a difference between Medical Doctors and Nurse Practitioners?

While it's true that NPs can do many of the things that a medical doctor can do, there are some key differences in the professions. The NPs are highly educated and extensively experienced. However, medical doctors have more education. They have the MD behind their names, therefore, are regulated by the Medical Board in the state they practice. NPs have 2 years more of high-level education than registered nurses (RNs) and are licensed by the Nursing Board in the state they practice. 

The difference though goes far beyond the type of degree and their respective licensing boards. It's as much about the patient experience as it is anything else. Of course, there are amazing providers in each part of the healthcare field. But for the most part, nurse practitioners are very accessible and seem to be much more relationship-minded with regard to their patients than many of the other healthcare providers tend to be. NPs tend to have a better 'bedside manner' if you will. They spent years as registered nurses before going back to school to get their NP degrees. For that reason, nurse practitioners will take time to get to know their patients and establish relationships with them. They are careful to include their patients in decision-making and work together with the patients on a treatment plan. This is key to forming an effective team with the patient. 

Nurse Practitioners are commonly mentors, coaches, and cheerleaders for their patients while assisting them in managing or resolving health challenges and also helping them prevent future issues when possible through better lifestyle choices. All while costing less for the patient. 

 

How Educated Is A Nurse Practitioner?

There are different levels of nursing. There are CNAs that are certified nursing assistants. There are LVN/LPN, which stands for licensed vocational nurse or licensed practical nurse. There are registered nurses (RNs). Then there are Nurse Practitioners at the top. NPs go through nursing school to achieve their RN degree. From that point, they must go back to school to get a Master's or a Doctorate degree in nursing. That includes clinical training that is on a whole different level than their RN training provided them. 

The NPs' upper-level coursework and training give them the competency and specialized knowledge needed to allow them to work, function, and excel in all types of healthcare settings. 

Nurse Practitioners offer a personal healthcare experience to their patients with more involvement and one-on-one personalization. Many times, that means better care. 

At Creek Stone Integrated Medical, our Nurse Practitioner works with all types of patients to deal with runny noses, ear infections, hormone replacement and management, IV Therapy, PRP injections, trigger point injections, medical weight loss, wellness plans, and so much more.

Find out how you can get started here at Creek Stone and have a truly customized provider experience that is tailored just for you. 

Call 806-355-3000 today and schedule an appointment with our NP at Creek Stone Integrated Medical. 

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Dr. Jeff Williams, DC, FIANM is double Board Certified as a Fellow in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Orthopedics as well as a Fellow in Chiropractic Forensics, and chiropractor in Amarillo, TX. As an Amarillo chiropractor, Dr. Williams treats chronic pain, disc pain, low back pain, neck pain, whiplash injuries, and more. Dr. Williams is also the host of The Chiropractic Forward Podcast (https://www.chiropracticforward.com). Through the podcast, Dr. Williams teaches fellow chiropractors and advocates weekly for evidence-based, patient-centered practice through current and relevant research. If you have any questions for Dr. Williams, feel free to email at [email protected] Learn more about Dr. Williams and his practice at https://www.amarillochiropractor.com.

Dr. Williams was voted Best Chiropractor In Amarillo in the Best of Amarillo 2020. Dr. Williams's full-time Amarillo chiropractic practice is Creek Stone Integrated Care at 3501 SW 45th St., Ste. T, Amarillo, TX 79109. If you are searching for a chiropractor near me, Dr. Williams is your Amarillo Chiropractor.  

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Jeff S Williams, DC, FIANM, DABFP

Jeff S Williams, DC, FIANM, DABFP

Owner/Chiropractor

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