Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, alternatives to doctors, help ensure that patients have timely access to quality health care.
Great Players to Have in Your Court
Like many caregivers, you may regularly interact with a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant on your loved one’s care team, rather than the primary care physician. That can be a good thing.
“Many caregivers are happy to talk to advance practice nurses about issues they aren’t necessarily comfortable talking to the physician about,” says Elizabeth Capezuti, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
It’s an observation based on considerable expertise. Capezuti is the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Chair in Gerontology and Professor at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City. She hears many versions of the same story.
“My mother’s internist didn’t really have time for her and he didn’t take a holistic approach to her Alzheimer’s diagnosis,” said Barbara Glickstein, who helped her mother, then in her late 80s and living in Florida, find a Nurse Practitioner.
It took some time, but they eventually connected with the only registered NP in the area — a 40-minute drive away. “Mom really liked her. She was very available for things that required clinical skills and primary care knowledge and, because of her nursing training, she could also address the psychosocial needs, that may or may not may be medically serious but still a concern to Mom.”
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