What is a Nurse Practitioner & What Do They Do?

Baptist Health Madisonville: What is a Nurse Practitioner & What Do They Do?

Nurse practitioners play a vital role in helping to diagnose and treat patients. Learn about the difference between nurse practitioner and doctor.

What is a Nurse Practitioner & What Do They Do HealthTalks Transcript

Abby Lara, APRN, Family Medicine:
An advanced practice registered nurse or nurse practitioner is a nurse who has obtained at least a master’s degree in nursing to provide healthcare for individuals ranging from children to adults in different specialties. We treat chronic medical problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol. We treat acute illnesses. We also do preventive care, so we do annual physicals, we do immunizations. We can prescribe almost all medications that a medical doctor can. There are a few medications that we’re not able to prescribe. In that instance, normally what I do is collaborate with my collaborative physician, Dr. Fralish, and refer the patient to see him for those medications.

Nurse practitioners benefit the medical practice because we offer more availability. There is a shortage of healthcare providers nationwide, especially medical doctors. It takes a lot of time to come out of school for medicine, so nurse practitioners are there to fill in that gap. We’re able to take care of those patients in family practice. We work as a team with our medical doctors here. We have a great family environment. I feel like we collaborate well together and we’re able to take care of all our patients.

Because I was a nurse first, I treat them the same way that I would want my family to be treated. I feel like we’re easy to talk to, or at least I try to be, and we try to take care of them as a whole. I like practicing in Hopkinsville because I was born and raised here. This is my home. The community here means a lot to me, and I find it a privilege to be able to take care of them and meet their needs.

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