The healthcare environment is ever changing and evolving. In order for KSB to remain sustainable for our patients and community, we are changing care delivery models throughout our organization.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are rising in numbers to augment patient care, especially in rural communities. Organizations increasing their use of APPs can significantly lessen the primary care physician shortage, and their expanded roles can help reduce costs to an organization, increase access, and allow more time to be spent with the patient.
Many patients don’t understand the role of an APP. In addition to examining and educating patients, they are certified medical professionals that can diagnose and develop treatment plans. NPs and PAs receive advanced degrees and clinical training that is modeled on medical school. This experience makes APPs an integral role in the patient care team.
What is the difference between a Physician Assistant and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse?
- PAs are graduates of accredited universities and are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. PAs practice in all areas of medicine.
- APRN is a registered nurse with advanced education with graduate or doctoral degrees in nursing. APRNs can be nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, or nurse anesthetists. There are many areas of specialty with national certification. APRNs may practice independently or in collaboration with a physician.
What is the scope of APPs?
- Conduct history and physical
- Diagnose and treat illnesses
- Order and interpret tests
- Provide counsel on preventive health care
- Order and prescribe medications
- Perform procedures
- Assist in surgery
Over the past couple years we have tripled the number of APPs at KSB. Areas that you will see APPs practicing include:
- Primary Care offices
- Emergency Department
- Hospital Medicine
- OB Clinic
- Operating room
- Pain Management
- Palliative care
- Soon to come Cardiology
KSB’s mission is to maintain the health of the community. In order to do this, we have to look at ways to bring high quality care to our patients. By investing in APPs, our patients have increased access to timely care and an opportunity to have more clinicians advocating on their behalf.