The duties of Nurse Practitioners in the rural healthcare system are an important component to healthcare. NPs provide treatment to patients that live in communities where healthcare is not usually present. They provide critical mental and physical care to residents as well as important health information to hospitals and physicians.
NPs make a huge difference in rural communities. In general they take the same insurances and payment options as a doctors and hospitals do. The majority also take government-supplied health insurance to cover their services. The value of a NP has been recognized by the government as well, many are working on ways to make these professionals more accessible to the rural areas.
NPs also play the crucial role of information gatherer for rural healthcare. Because many residents in these areas do not seek regular medical physicals their care can be complicated by underlying illness. Having up to date medical histories allows treating physicians to be aware of potential complications or causes of illness. Knowing this information will improve the care the doctor provides for their patients. There is no question that the NPs records can save lives.
Though NPs are an independent part of the rural healthcare industry they do work closely with doctors and hospitals to make sure their patients are receiving the best care possible. Because of the trust they have built with rural residents the NP can prove to be more vital then the doctor. After treatment they are also relied on to administer any follow up treatments the doctor prescribes.
Homeopathic medicine is part of rural culture, which means prescription medications are not often used for treatment. Providing these medications and explaining their usage is a key role of a NP. Without this guidance the prescriptions could potentially do more harm to the patient.
A Nurse Practitioner does not play the same role in healthcare as a physician in a hospital. Their duties are to keep accurate health records, educate patients, diagnose conditions and treat injuries and illness. Sharing information with physicians is also a critical part of their job. More patients are starting to see NPs before their own doctors and the industry is realizing their value in the treatment of the patients.
There are many healthcare jobs that are available in the industry today. Nurse practitioner jobs are just one example of the career opportunities available to those with proper training and experience.