What Can a Nurse Practitioner Do?


In this day and age, when there is a lack of primary care physicians in many areas of the United States, nurse practitioners are beginning to take on more roles that were once reserved for medical doctors or surgeons. Nurse practitioners have traditionally been highly-skilled nurses who provide healthcare services mainly under the supervision of physicians. However, with new laws in some states, nurse practitioners can practice independently without physician supervision. Most nurse practitioners in Humble, TX, can prescribe medications independently, examine patients for diseases, and provide wound care, among other services they were not allowed to perform previously. Their increased involvement has had a positive impact on healthcare. They have been able to provide healthcare services that were previously unavailable or not easily accessible.


The following is a list of the many roles that Nurse Practitioners play in the healthcare field today.


1. Pregnancy Testing

Nurse practitioners can test pregnant patients for pregnancy. They regularly do urine and blood tests, but they also perform many other tests on pregnant women. If a patient is pregnant, the nurse practitioner can provide options for prenatal care either immediately or by referring the patient to another healthcare provider.


2. STD Testing

Testing for sexually-transmitted diseases is another role that Nurse Practitioners can perform. They can do urine testing to detect gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomonas. They also can provide HIV screening and testing at specific sexual health clinics.


3. Infectious Disease Care

Nurse practitioners can provide care for patients with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, and meningitis. They examine the patient and perform any necessary tests and then prescribe medication or other treatments. These nurses must know which medications they can prescribe themselves and which ones require a physician's approval.


4. Immigration Exams

As more immigrants continue to enter this country, Nurse Practitioners are taking on many of the roles once held by medical doctors in immigration. No longer do non-citizens need to visit an emergency room to obtain a physical exam for immigration purposes. Nurse practitioners examine patients, perform lab tests, and write prescriptions. They are also able to order EKGs and x-rays.


5. Vaccinations

Along with providing physical exams, Nurse Practitioners are now allowed to administer vaccinations in some states. They can do standard childhood vaccinations along with many others, depending on state laws. Some of the vaccines available at clinics include polio, mumps, measles, and rubella. In addition, they can provide flu shots to both children and adults.

Nurse Practitioners also administer vaccines for travel abroad. These include all of the standard vaccinations and shots to prevent yellow fever or hepatitis A or B.


6. Physicals

One of the most common roles that Nurse Practitioners play in healthcare today is providing physical exams, which they do to detect diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure. This is an excellent service for kids who do not have a primary care physician or cannot visit one due to financial concerns or lack of insurance coverage.

In summary, nurse practitioners have become an essential part of the current medical setup with a shortage of primary care physicians. They can handle many things, such as pregnancy and STD testing. They can also conduct immigration tests and administer vaccines. Additionally, nurse practitioners can help with physicals.

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