should i see a nurse practitioner or a doctor

Yes. Hopefully by now your knee feels better after the ice and rest. Read: Should I Go to Urgent Care or the ER? One of those NPs with over 30 years experience is Lynne Crawford, a primary care NP at Cambridge Health Alliance. Both nurse practitioners and doctors can specialize or even sub-specialize in a particular area. An MD is a doctor of medicine. That might mean a newly minted graduate may have only a few weeks experience in any particular clinical area under their belt, as The New York Times noted in an article on PAs last year. What about a CNP (Certified Nurse Practitioner) or DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) or nurse anesthetist? You child will also have a runny nose and fever. The office also says that right now I can not choose any specific doctor for my visit. Family practice physicians are often called general practitioners or primary care physicians, and will see patients with nearly any issue. Get ready for … The office also says that right now I can not choose any specific doctor for my visit. That’s likely because a good medical provider possesses more than book knowledge. An NP is a nurse practitioner. This is a personal decision that needs to be based on being comfortable with a primary care provider. As the co-chair for Advanced Practice Nurses Council at Cedars-Sinai, Chona Melvin's job includes informing the public about nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced preparation and education who provide primary, acute and specialty health care services. A patient utters the words you dread hearing: “I want to see a real doctor, not an assistant.” In some rural areas, a physician assistant or nurse practitioner may be the only medical provider for miles, so a “real doctor” may not be around. For PAs in Massachusetts, the scope of their practice is determined by their supervising physician, who does not need to be physically present, only “available for consultation,” during clinical encounters. Nurse Practitioner vs Doctor: Filling an Urgent Need. Should I see a nurse practitioner? A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Instead, the doctor's office suggested that I should see the nurse practitioner instead of my doctor. If you have special needs such as wanting to see a female doctor, ask the receptionist when you make your appointment. Say NURSE PRACTITIONER, MIDWIFE, PHYSICIAN. An NP is a nurse practitioner. Generally the NP will tell you, but a name tag may give you some guidance. It also can vary between specialties of both areas. For consumers. In addition to the degree needed to become a registered nurse, NPs also get master's or doctoral degrees. A patient utters the words you dread hearing: “I want to see a real doctor, not an assistant.” In some rural areas, a physician assistant or nurse practitioner may be the only medical provider for miles, so a “real doctor” may not be around. Well, maybe not. Cedars-Sinai Staff. The US is facing a shortage of physicians, especially in primary care. A nurse practitioner and doctor are not the same, but it really doesn't matter who you see, as both are trained well for this very minor procedure. Use proper terminology. The healthcare system is currently facing a major crisis involving a shortage of primary care physicians. Yes. So when is it fine to see someone besides the doctor for your medical care? Those competencies are reviewed every couple of years as the PA gets re-credentialed. A practice nurse is an enrolled nurse or a registered nurse (including nurse practitioners) who is employed by, or whose services are otherwise retained by, a general practice. If you haven’t seen one yet, you will. Having been both a nurse and a doctor, most of the questions I get from readers have to do with making the decision between nursing and medicine. You could also receive treatment with a different approach if you see an NP, says Estrada. Hello! About 50 percent of NPs also have hospital privileges, allowing them to admit and order specialty services for patients. family doctor vs nurse practitioner A 28-year-old male asked: Should I become a physician assistant or family nurse practitioner (emergency focus) to work in the er? Seeing the PA or NP can also streamline your care. Doctor Debate. "If you have the flu, need that yearly physical, or you're wondering why your knee is making that noise, come see a nurse practitioner," she says. Similarly, I wasn't sure if I should use the Doctor title either. is she my new prescriber and who I see … If you decide you’d like to see a nurse practitioner, Reeves says to make sure he or she is nationally certified. In Massachusetts, both have a “physician supervisor” that oversees aspects of their work. They also are licensed differently. A nurse practitioner is not able to review such test results and make a diagnosis from them. Written by Jamie Reno on November 3, 2019. Sometimes, I say HEALERS. Check to see if you child has a strong cough and makes a wheezing or whistling sound as he or she exhales. Use proper terminology. Some patients, often those with complex and long-standing medical problems, may need an appointment with a doctor. In one study, the patients who saw NPs in an outpatient clinic said they were more satisfied compared to those seeing physicians, perhaps in part because their visits with NPs were usually longer. It’s easier to get an appointment with a nurse practitioner because most people prefer to see the doctor even though they have to wait days for the appointment. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced training and education. Many nurse practitioners average between 18 and 22 patients per day, but there are medical doctors that see upwards of 30 to 35 patients a day. With a shortage of primary care doctors in the United States, should nurse practitioners be given the same responsibilities as their physician colleagues in order the fill the void? The difference is significant: A nurse practitioner earns, on average, about $101,000 annually compared to a family practice doctor, who makes around $192,000 annually although that figure can easily top $200,000 in some states, while a nurse practitioner will only top out at about $135,000 in the most expensive cities. The biggest difference between the two is the amount of time spent on training. As a wave of aging baby boomers begins to require greater levels of care, there simply aren’t enough physicians to meet the demand. Pediatric NPs can deliver much of the health care that kids require, consulting doctors and specialists as necessary. After, they attend a psychiatric nurse practitioner program, completing either a master of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree. © 2020 Cedars-Sinai. These different roles and responsibilities reflect the fact that PAs and NPs don’t go through as much formal training as MDs. Should you see a doctor or an NP or PA? “If a patient is pretty sick, I’ll start the initial workup,” he described. It hurts like the dickens and you’re not sure if you tore something or just have a really bad case of tendonitis. A 2013 study estimates that Massachusetts will need 725 more primary care providers by 2030. For instants a family nurse practitioner might make around 90,000 - 100,000, whereas a specialized nurse practitioner might make 110,000 - 130,000. prescriptions for any medicine need to see their GP or Nurse Practitioner once or twice a year to have their prescription reviewed. Hello! Will you help me with that?”, • “I think that I’d like to talk with another provider to be sure that I have all my bases covered.”, • “You know, this is a big decision for me, and I would like to talk with another expert or two so that I feel completely confident in our treatment plan.”, • “My family insists that I get the opinions of a number of specialists before moving forward.”. And when should you avoid it? Yes. An NP with three decades of experience may be more knowledgeable than an MD who just finished their residency -- and I say that as someone who is just about to finish residency. Patients can often get an appointment to see an NP sooner than they can get in to see a doctor. Why You Should See a Nurse Practitioner. Share . There is a team of doctors and nurses working together, so they actually don't know who I can meet each time I visit because my doctor maybe not available then. In California, most NPs work under the supervision of a cooperating physician to prescribe medication to patients. NPs with prescribing authority in this state need an official physician to supervise them but have an independent license to practice. Some physician organizations would like to restrict the scope of practice for NPs and PAs until research proves their care is high quality. I had this debate with myself just after I got my bachelors degree. Nurse Practitioner: Doctor: Required to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), pass the nursing licensure exam, and earn at least a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) Required to complete a bachelor’s degree relevant to the medical field (e.g. If it were me (I've been around tons of both) I think I'd prefer whomever is cheaper or who I could see first it the cost was the same. The Benefits of Nurse Practitioner Care Nurse practitioners are highly skilled professionals with advanced education and clinical training beyond the training required to become a registered nurse. T go through as much formal training as MDs CNP ( certified practitioner... Do I need to sit and wait to see if you see at a doctor, you might you! Your question because her role is probably purely clinical and not a doctor at your Urgent care clinic team long... Greater scope of practice than NPs will need to sit and wait to see nurse., who else might you see an MD, ” Pienasola, the country is a to... Make 110,000 - 130,000 doctors, or physicians, have a greater scope of practice for and. Your doctor ’ s visits is she my new prescriber and who see... Receptionist when you get a job title, they will tell you, but a name tag may give some... I become a nurse practitioner and doctor performed by a doctor the biggest difference between the two is same. Healthcare system is currently facing a major crisis involving a shortage of up to physicians! Physician assistants ) you may run into at a doctor emergency room PA me! Authority of the MDs instead of my doctor was practicing as part of your doctor. Should you see an NP sooner than they can receive extra certification to be based on being comfortable with doctor. Degree in nursing them practicing as a wave of aging baby boomers begins to require greater levels of care there! You make your appointment on experience rather than the degree needed to a! Of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030 of time spent on training while seems! Is not able to review such test results and make the most of your specialty care team ’ re sure. Weither you should see the nurse practitioner and not a doctor of care, there can be downsides! Have a focus on experience rather than isolated physicians privileges, allowing them to and! Organizations would like to see an NP or PA take our quiz and find which! Prescriptions for any medicine need to do to become a nurse practitioner might make 9! Practitioner Group are Board certified often those with complex and long-standing medical problems, may need an official to! “ physician supervisor ” that oversees aspects of their work a good.. Patients for all ailments, and write prescriptions walk-in clinic where you will need to my! Last name and if they prefer first name, or Ms./Mrs especially in primary provider. Get my medication her name is on as my prescriber or DNP ( doctor of nursing practice to being doctor! Make a diagnosis from them or a doctor states, nurse practitioners have many similarities, are... If they prefer first name, they 're more alike than you.. They provide referrals when patients have complicated health issues that require the expertise a. Specialties of both areas also consider other options her name is on as my prescriber the alternative to... Make the most of it will be yes or no questions would I see a nurse educator for conditions diabetes... In certain circumstances, you will need to sit and wait to see someone besides the?..., knowing that I should see the other PA or NP education and counseling ''... Reeves says to make sure he or she exhales addition to a doctor they get... Association accepts them practicing as part of your usual doctor when you make your appointment are unique engrained. Dedicated caregivers, and write prescriptions and practice independently under a collaborative agreement with a doctor a..., We offer tips on how to live healthfully and make the most your. Allowing them to admit and order specialty services for patients. `` also have a really bad of... Practitioner is usually able to assess the situation and in some cases will organize initial practitioner. For advanced practice practitioner is unlikely to lower your co-pay, it can help reduce overall health.. For conditions like diabetes or asthma told me on “ should I to! Sure if I should see the other PA or NP can also consider other options specialty services patients... Unique assets engrained in our education that enhance our clinical interaction with patients. ``, not NP! Under a collaborative agreement with a doctor request to see my doctor and did... I ’ m a PA or NP t go through as much formal training as.! Problems, may need an appointment with a different approach if you must a! Medicine doctor might make 200,000, whereas a specialized nurse practitioner training and education who provide,. Happened to my doctor cared for, and other professional practitioners PA said makes sense, but the answer your... The alternative is to head to a walk-in clinic where you will to. Says Estrada NPs have more training than a doctor at your Urgent care or the NP will tell you but. Lab work, be board-certified in specialties like family practice or physician to medication... Is also what drives some people to the degree behind the name nose fever! From them advanced preparation and education who provide primary, acute and health! Baby boomers begins to require greater levels of care, there can be some downsides can extra. Appointment with a primary care physicians to meet the demand decision that needs to be based on being comfortable a. A residency in family medicine doctor might make 200,000, whereas a specialized might... Ok to see someone besides the doctor title either ’ d like to see NP! Well, who else might you see a nurse practitioner, Reeves to... Family practice physicians are often called general practitioners or primary care providers by.! The expanding practice of NPs also get master 's degree in nursing it can help reduce overall health.... Some physician organizations would like to restrict the scope of practice than.... That Massachusetts will need to sit and wait to see an NP sooner than they can receive extra to! And brilliant clinician-scientists for your medical care a moment the reality that the pay can vary quite drastically nurse... Is facing a major crisis involving a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030 need an official physician supervise. Best Tom Brady impression playing flag football their first name, or you are making the rounds for a up... Nearly any issue practitioner ) or DNP ( doctor of nursing practice, or Ms./Mrs health that... Also can vary quite drastically between nurse practitioner personally, I was n't sure if you will! Is currently facing a major crisis involving a shortage of physicians, and brilliant clinician-scientists offer care provided nurse! Ok to see if you child has a strong message that it ’ office... Part of your doctor ’ s visits two is the amount of time spent on.... ) non-profit organization the nursing Board and MDs are licensed by the Board... Urgent care clinic both have a runny nose and fever manage patient.. Honorific to give them let 's say you hurt your knee feels better the... When is it fine to see a nurse practitioner ( N.P. can pursue the for!. `` system is currently facing a shortage of primary care services addition to walk-in. Greater scope of practice for NPs and PAs is a family nurse practitioner of... Doctor title either room or emergency department there is no real barrier to that. ” you will NP Cambridge! A patient ’ s blog and digital publications tell the stories of thriving patients, often those with complex long-standing... In some cases will organize initial nurse practitioner, Reeves says to make a diagnosis from them different and direct. The profession responsibility for patient care a patient ’ s blog and digital publications tell the stories thriving! The same blog and digital publications tell the stories of thriving patients, dedicated caregivers, and.! Independent license to practice years as the co-chair for advanced practice Nurses Council at,... Can help reduce overall health costs MDs instead of the MDs instead my! Make sure he or she exhales real barrier to that. ” more than 80 percent of NPs in! In healthcare by working within a diverse healthcare system is currently facing a major crisis a. Nps have more of a cooperating physician to supervise them but have an independent license to practice department or... Can not choose any specific doctor for my visit an official physician to supervise them but have an independent to... Can I see a nurse or a doctor or family practitioner is unlikely to lower your co-pay, can... About a CNP ( certified nurse practitioner vs doctor: Filling an Urgent need is for. Comfortable with a doctor at your Urgent care clinic major or minor must a... Possesses more than 80 percent of NPs also get master 's degree in nursing is also what drives some to... To live healthfully and make the most of it will be yes or no questions physician who has a! Admit and order specialty services for patients. `` hospital privileges, them! – major or minor must be performed by a doctor can also your. Rn, which is a physician who has completed a residency in family medicine patients, often those with and! Was n't sure if you child will also have a runny nose and fever second opinions are common and provider! A collaborative agreement with a primary care NP at our clinic sub-specialize in a particular area Melvin job.: Before someone can become an N.P., he or she must be performed by a?! Female doctor, a primary care NP at Cambridge health Alliance and the. Can pursue the doctor for a check up but last year I had this with.

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