When a Nurse Practitioner is Your Better Choice

nurse_practitioner
Mayo School of Health Sciences

When it comes to health care, most people turn to doctors to provide them with checkups, treatments and prescriptions. What most people don’t realize is that when you’re in need of medical attention, a doctor is not your only option. Instead, you can also use the expertise of a nurse practitioner.

What is a nurse practitioner?

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a nurse who has extended care and education and can provide very similar services to a doctor. Nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat a wide variety of illnesses and diseases, and they can even help you educate yourself on the illness as well as provide solutions to help you make healthier lifestyle choices.

What separates a nurse practitioner from a nurse?

A nurse practitioner receives more training and more education than registered nurses (RN). Most nurse practitioners will receive their master’s degree, and some will even receive their doctorate.

When should I see a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor?

Nurse practitioners tend to have a more open schedule than doctors, which means that there will not be a long wait to see them and you’ll be able to have more of their attention. If you need a thorough amount of attention about your illness, or if you have a lot of questions about your health that you want answered, a nurse practitioner can be a better choice than a doctor because they’ll have more time to sit and talk with you. Plus, since nurse practitioners don’t have a very full schedule, you’ll be able to make a quicker appointment, and you will not need to spend what may seem like an eternity in the waiting room.

If you’re in need of lifestyle changes with your health, a nurse practitioner is a better option than a doctor. Not only will they be able to spend more time with you discussing your illness, but also they’ll be able to provide you with the information, tips and guidance you need to make smarter decisions on your health. Plus, since they don’t have as many patients, they’ll be able to give you more one-on-one attention and get to know you and your medical history more than a doctor.

Are there any other benefits to seeing a nurse practitioner over a doctor?

Another main reason that people choose to see a nurse practitioner over a doctor is because it will save you a significant amount of money on your healthcare bills. First, the charges to see a nurse practitioner will be significantly less than they will be to see a doctor. Second, since your nurse practitioner is more involved with your illness and helping to guide you to make better decisions, you will spend less time visiting the NP and you’ll be admitted to the hospital or sent for labs less often.

Where do I find a nurse practitioner?

Most nurse practitioners work with doctors or in medical clinics, so if you’re interested in finding a nurse practitioner, you may want to call various doctor’s offices or clinics in your area to see if they have one on staff. You may also want to check with your insurance company to see if they can find a nurse practitioner in your area too.

Joshua Reynolds specializes in doctor office review monitoring.  He is an expert review tracker and likes to write about anything related to business.

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