Do our citizens know of their value or the effect that they can have on all of our lives? As long as Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants stay within their scope of practice, everyone could see them in lieu of a Physician. Their scope of practice and supervising physician rules vary from state-to-state, but for the sake of healthcare here in the U.S., they need to be nationalized and expanded to an extent to accommodate having a primary care practice. Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners have different training. Go and search Wikipedia. You will find that both of these professions require a good deal of education with clinicals and rotations. A lot of Physician Assistants have worked in other healthcare jobs such as an EMT or Paramedic. Nurse Practitioners have a background in nursing before getting their masters or doctorate in Nursing. Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants primary care practices should be the first step in our healthcare process.

If our health problem is beyond their scope of practice, they will refer to a specialist M.D. So, how does this help us, the people of the United States? These practitioners will charge less per visit than a first-step Physician (family practice or primary care) for the same care. In our present climate, the majority of med students are opting for specialties (I suspect a lot of them are doing this for purely economic motives). Very few are dreaming of being good ole family docs who (only in economic terms) rate the lowest on the M.D. Who can we see as a first step before possibly having to see a specialist? We certainly don’t want to go to the specialist first. If we don’t have a clue as to what’s wrong with us, what specialist should we choose? And (OMG!) the price of specialists! So to whom do we turn?

  • Fills kids up, so they feel satisfied between meals
  • Focus on the positive
  • How often should my child exercise
  • Oats: excellent source of manganese, good source of protein, phosphorus and B1
  • Can copy a circle
  • How can I ensure they are not too tired

The advanced practitioners – Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, that’s who. 120,000. There are some who get paid higher and some lower, but most fall within that average range. 15,000 on all ranges for their future expanded scope of practice in primary care? Advanced Practitioners are fully trained and capable of doing. Take billing out of the equation. Look at the goodwill these practitioners bring to the mix. Nurse Practitioners practice with a compassion that most of us have never received from a physician. Their background in nursing, an extremely compasionate field, translates beautifully to a family practice Nurse Practitioner. A wonderful recipe mix of knowledge and compassion! Most patients have been seen by either a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant, though many of us didn’t even know it. The television show, Royal Pains, shows a Physician Assistant, Divya, who is so capable that she takes over quite a bit for Hank, the doctor.

She also makes it clear that because of her training, she can only go so far. This show portrays the very well trained Physician Assistant in a true manner. It also gives the viewing audience some idea of what a Physician Assistant is. Ask the average person what a Physician Assistant or a Nurse Practitioner does or is. Want to bet the majority doesn’t have the foggiest? So, concerned citizens of America, wake up, and help our “heroes of healthcare” (Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants) obtain what they need to help our healthcare system. They aren’t the total solution to our healthcare problem, but utilizing them as primary care practitioners is a great place to start. What help do our Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants need? Write to your congressmen. They all seem to know there is a problem with affordable healthcare, but we never hear of any solutions from these politicians. Here are just a few problems that need to be addressed: To start with, they need nationally uniform licensing rules. When they relocate from state to state, the waiting period for the new state licensure can be months!

Also, in some states, these practitioners enjoy a great deal of independence and autonomy along with reasonable abilities to prescribe medicine. In other states, doctors must “babysit” these advanced practice professionals. In many states, Nurse Practitioners can only prescribe medications like Percocet in 24 hour increments and only with the doctor’s approval. The AMA is the real culprit in holding back the careers of Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistants. At every opportunity, they show how threatened they feel in regards to what these advanced practice professionals may do in their healthcare jobs. Instead, physicians should be agressively training NPs and PAs to take over primary care here in the USA. They obviously don’t want to go into primary care themselves. Just look at the statistics at medical colleges. The whole discussion boils down to this: money…money…money! We, as patients, want to spend less of it on our healthcare, and doctors don’t want to share the wealth with these up and coming practitioners. Do you really want to help solve the healthcare crisis? If so, don’t just sit there after reading this. You have this information. Do with it what you will. Cyn Doyle is the President of Placements USA LLC, a healthcare jobs recruiting company that specializes in recruiting for Nurse Practitioner jobs and Physician Assistant jobs. She utilizes her healthcare recruiting firm to advocate for Nurse Practitioner jobs and Physician Assistant jobs.

As an alternative to finding a safety-net hospital for your child, you can call your local hospitals or medical centers and ask if they provide low-cost or free services to the public. Many large teaching hospitals and medical centers provide free or low-cost quality care for families who otherwise can’t afford it. If you find a hospital that offers this service, you’ll meet with financial counselors there to work out a pay rate. They may also connect you to other resources in your community for discounted care. Prescriptions can really drain your wallet, especially if your child isn’t enrolled in a public program such as Medicaid or CHIP. Find out if your child can take generic (non-brand) medicines. These often have the exact same active ingredient as the name-brand medicine, but cost a lot less. Find out if there is an over-the-counter alternative. Ask the doctor or pharmacist if over-the-counter versions are available for the prescription medicines your child takes.


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