Shattering Myths About Nurse Practitioners: Why NPs Make Great Primary Care Providers by Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP
Nearly 30 percent of men and 20 percent of women don’t have a primary care provider (PCP), and they may be unhealthier as a result. People with a PCP are more likely to stick to regular appointments, practice prevention, identify problems early and avoid things like drug complications. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are making it easier than ever to find the PCP that is right for you, but these three nagging myths sometimes stand in the way of patients seeking NP care.
- Some patients think NPs don’t prescribe medicine. Wrong. Nurse practitioners provide complete care. NPs diagnose patients, analyze tests and prescribe medications.
- Some health consumers think NPs health-care philosophy is identical to a physician. Wrong. NPs focus on the health of the whole patient. They promote wellness and focus on all the factors that can influence longevity and quality of life, like weight, stress and cultural barriers to care.
- There’s a shortage of NPs. Wrong. There’s a surplus. Despite an escalating physician provider shortage, NPs either meet or exceed patient demand.
It’s never too late to find a PCP, and NPs are making care more comprehensive and accessible than ever before.
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