WHAT IS A NURSE PRACTITIONER?
Because of the recent shortage in primary care physicians, the medical community has begun to train nurse practitioners to work side by side with physicians. Nurse practitioners have been qualified to deliver primary care medicine. They are licensed to make medical diagnoses in their field, request diagnostic testing, and write prescriptions. They can also practice independently in some instances.
In the years to come, patients are going to become more familiarized with nurse practitioners as they move into more prominent roles in the healthcare setting. At Integrative Pediatrics, we are appreciative of the training of our nurse practitioners. Together, they work as a treatment team to deliver coordinated and cohesive care between their patients.
WHEN WILL MY CHILD SEE A NURSE PRACTITIONER?
In our office, all of the basic primary care appointments are scheduled with our nurse practitioners, including, but not limited to, Well Checks, Shot visits and routine (acute care) Same Day Sick visits. The team frequently reviews cases with Dr. Carine and if there are any concerning conditions with a patient, she steps in to help solve the problem. More complicated patient cases are scheduled with Dr. Carine for 30-minute consultative appointments or osteopathic appointments. This is done so we can spend more focused time with the family in a holistic manner.
In a recent study of pediatric primary care, 8-11 minutes was the typical time spent for a Well Child appointment. The pressures placed on physicians by government oversight and insurance constraints keep the overhead associated with primary offices high. As a result, 8-11 minutes is the most time a physician can spend with their patients. After leaving the appointment, many patients are often unsatisfied with their care. Physicians are increasingly frustrated and burned out with their jobs because they know they cannot deliver the care they want in the time that they are given.
Our office structure has been designed carefully to address these constraints. Our Well Child exams are scheduled for 30 minutes, and our Same Day Sick visits are typically 15 minutes. This extra time allows space to deliver more comprehensive, personal, holistic care. Part of our office structure includes the sale of supplements. The revenue we generate from these supplements fills the gap of revenue that is left by seeing fewer patients in a day. The result is that patients can purchase supplements that we know are safe, individually chosen, physician dispensed and exactly what the practitioner has prescribed. In addition, families get to enjoy longer, more personal appointments. In the end, all of our practitioners’ salaries are similar to other practitioners that provide primary care.