Advanced Practice Providers: Increasing Your Access to Quality Care
APPs (advanced practice providers) work alongside doctors every day to help save and improve countless lives. While Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) are the most commonly known APPs, this cohort also includes Nurse Midwives (CNMs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).
Serving as capable liaisons between physicians and patients, these healthcare professionals are highly trained and qualified individuals who help diagnose and treat issues and ensure the patient's care and overall experience are exceptional. At Resurgens Orthopaedics, we are grateful for every APP who works alongside our physicians.
What You Need To Know About Advanced Practice Providers
The Value of APPs in Patient Care
With extensive training APPs can act as physician extenders, meaning they can diagnose and treat patient issues and therefore increase the availability of quality healthcare. Physicians and APPs work together as a team to provide better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.
The demand for orthopedic healthcare is on the rise. Luckily, nurse practitioners and physician assistants help bridge the growing gap between healthcare providers and those in need: they make it much easier for physicians to provide exemplary care across many fields of medicine. While APPs collaborate closely with physicians, they can often handle much of a patient's care on their own. In doing so, they help create a more efficient healthcare system by lowering the return rate to hospitals, reducing wait times, expediting care, increasing accessibility, improving outcomes, and increasing patient satisfaction.
The Different Types of Advanced Practice Providers
As mentioned above, there are several different kinds of advanced practice providers. They all perform different technical duties, but they all provide patient education and care in clinical settings and in patients' homes.
Our physicians often work alongside orthopedic nurse practitioners and orthopedic physician assistants. Below, we help you understand how these two types of APPs improve the quality of care provided by Resurgens Orthopaedics.
What Is a Nurse Practitioner? (NPs)
Annually, in the second week of November, U.S. Nurse Practitioners Week is held to honor NPs' hard work and dedication to patient care. There are over 355,000 of these licensed and highly skilled healthcare providers in the nation, and we are grateful for all of the work they do.
Nurse practitioners must earn, at minimum, a master's degree (though many go on to earn their doctorate), and they must have advanced clinical training beyond what they complete as an RN (Registered Nurse). Their advanced experience and training gives NPs the authority to provide more specialized care than RNs. Often, an NP can do what a physician can do but with a more patient-centered approach.
NPs are not limited to working in orthopedic offices like ours. They can provide healthcare in various settings which include:
Urgent care sites
Before someone can practice as an NP, they must earn a national certification from an accredited institution such as the AANPCP or the ANCC. Once they're practicing, nurse practitioners undergo periodic peer reviews, clinical outcome evaluations, and they must follow a code for ethical practices.
Services Offered by Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
Nurse practitioners provide a wide variety of preventative and immediate healthcare services to all individuals. They work alone and with other healthcare professionals, such as medical doctors (MDs), enabling them to provide a wide range of services, including:
Diagnosing and treating chronic and acute health conditions
Ordering, performing, and analyzing lab work, x-rays, and other diagnostic tests
Prescribing medications, specialized treatments, and creating treatment plans
Providing health education and counseling
Writing referrals to other healthcare professionals
Orthopedic nurse practitioners are able to place splints and casts, perform joint injections, prescribe physical therapy treatment, and follow patients' postoperative course through post-op follow up visits.
What Is a Physician Assistant? (PAs)
Our orthopedic physician assistants are under the direction and supervision of our board-certified physicians. Just like nurse practitioners, PAs must undergo rigorous education and training to become licensed and certified. This usually includes approximately 2-3 additional years of training after they earn their undergraduate degree, more than 2,000 hours of clinical experience, and passing a certification exam. PAs are educated in general medicine, so they have a very comprehensive understanding of all areas of medicine, allowing them the choice to work in a wide variety of health fields.
Over 160,000 PAs work in the U.S. in healthcare settings such as hospitals, community health centers, medical offices, nursing homes, retail clinics (like CVS), workplace clinics, schools, government agencies, correctional facilities, and more. Because of their extensive training, like NPs, they are often able to work autonomously, carrying out healthcare services and treatments on par with physicians.
Services Offered by Physician Assistants (PAs)
Because PAs can work in a variety of healthcare settings, the services they provide depend on where they work, their specialty, and state laws. However, it's common for PAs to:
Take patient medical histories
Perform physical exams
Assist during surgery
Perform clinical research
Develop and monitor treatment plans
Order tests and analyze results
Diagnose and treat illness (excluding performing surgery)
PAs working with our orthopedic physicians may carry out the following duties:
Perform fracture reductions and management
Provide joint aspirations
Perform wound closures
Removal of damaged tissue from wounds
Creation of casts and splints
Teamwork in Medicine: The Partnership between APPs and Physicians
Physicians could not care for patients effectively without the help of APPs. They form a mutually beneficial partnership with the true beneficiaries being the patients they care for. Together, APPs and physicians form medical teams that not only create more efficiency within the healthcare system, but also create more access to high-quality medical care and education for patients of all ages.
Embracing the Collaborative Excellence of Resurgens Orthopaedics
The extensive patient care that Resurgens Orthopaedics is able to provide would not be possible without our NPs and PAs. The continued collaborative effort of all APPs and physicians throughout the country and abroad ensures we can provide more efficient, more effective, and more preventative healthcare for many individuals who are in need.
We're thankful and proud of the advanced practice providers who dedicate their lives to work that improves the quality of life for those who need it most. They are an indispensable part of our healthcare system and the patient lives they impact on a daily basis.