Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It Happens Down Under & Up North Too

It looks like our Australian nurse practitioner colleagues endure similar baseless attacks on quality of care from the physicians they work with. See the article in The Australian entitled, "Bypassing GPs put lives at risk."

"Things will be either missed, as in not detected, or there will be a misdiagnosis, as in something in error," Dr. Capolingua of the Australian Medical Association said."

The easiest thing is always to play the quality card. Scare the public into thinking they will be misdiagnosed or will get inferior care by NPs, though nothing has proven that.

Our Canadian friends subscribe to these tactics too. Right on queue, the Ontario Medical Association chimes in NP quality of care:

"It's a delicate balance: Sure, we want to increase access to health care, but not if it dilutes quality of care. Nurses play a vital part in health care -as a team. You can't replace a doctor with a nurse."

Nurse Practitioner scope of practice does differ slightly outside of the US. Heck, it differs slightly from state to state. NP preparation all includes advanced education, training, licensure, and at least some prescriptive authority onto one's years of nursing experience. NP practice is not about replacing physicians it's about complementing them so that they can manage the more acute patients. Its about working collaboratively with all members of the health care team. It's about the right provider at the right time and place.


Rosemary said...

Unfortunately New Zealand is also afflicted with the "status quo" virus. Our Medical Association leaders in particular have, over the past eight years since the NP role was introduced, continually lobbied via media and policy channels to reduce the role or discredit the quality of NP care. We battle on!

Stephen Ferrara, NP said...

Battle on is right! Good luck to you and don't let those unsubstantiated quality attacks slow you down.