Friday, March 28, 2008

Nurse Practitioners Fill Key Roll

Here is a well written article from today's Tennessean about Nurse Practitioners filling key rolls in primary care. To no one's surprise, The Tennessee Medical Association opposes this and even wants to add more barriers to nurse practitioner practice and therefore block access to affordable, high-quality care. They even find a way to throw retail clinics in the mix.

My question is why do they feel a need to impose stricter limits on NP practice? Are there studies to show that NP-practice is unsafe or not as good as physician-practice? In fact, studies show the contrary. I like to think of myself as a person of proof. If you can show me other than anecdotal evidence, that NP practice needs limits rather than autonomy, I'd welcome the proof.

I also don't want this to be a nurse practitioner vs. physician rant. We are all members of the healthcare team and need each other to collaborate and critically think when caring for patients. I certainly can't do it all by myself nor do I really want to. In my experience, I've see physicians collaborate with one another, pharmacists, physical therapists and yes, even nurses. A lot of us have areas of special interests or expertise. Wouldn't it be better to collaborate with that individual on that particular topic rather than someone not versed in that area? That would seem to make sense to me!

1 comment:

Barbara C. Phillips, NP said...

What I think many miss is the idea of working independently vs working in isolation.

I don't believe there are very many health care providers, including physicians, who work in isolation. Almost everyone I know is asking someone else to "take a peak" at something or finding out "what they think" about something.

I happen to be independent in my state, and unfortunately, work in an area that is not as NP friendly as you would think. I do however, value the give and take I have with select physicians in my area and love it that we refer to one another. Everyone wins in this kind of relationship...especially our patients.