What is a Nurse Practitioner, you might ask
I know I asked what a Nurse Practitioner was when Paul first moved into the office I was renting from an acupuncturist. He told me he could do anything my family practice doctor could do, except write a prescription for a handicapped placard. I still didn’t get what he did...my family doctor was a chiropractor, unless it was broken or bleeding profusely...and I didn’t see an adjusting table in his office. What I have learned since then is that a Nurse Practitioner was, at the time Paul went through school, the highest level of nursing, just like a doctor is the highest level in the medical field. Now there are Doctors of Nursing Practice, who functionally do the same job as Paul, just have a different title. Philosophically, nursing and medical, so far as I can tell, differ in that the belief in the medical line is about fixing the problem and the belief in nursing is about talking care of the person. When I thought of nurses previously, I thought of the people who made people comfortable and were available and responsible for the patient getting what was needed....medication, appointments, proper food for their conditions, etc. I had an event at one point where I had a run in with a doctor who would not listen to me about symptoms I had noticed while taking a sulphur based antibiotic. She told me it was not possible and that it was all in my head. At which point, I went to the front desk and basically told them that I expected to be seen by someone who would listen to me, and if that did not happen, my next stop would be an attorneys office. She made me a little angry. They didn’t have another doctor who was available, but they did have a male NP available. I saw him, he listened, and in fact told me that my symptoms were classic allergic reaction to that class of medicine.Needless to say, even long before Paul, if I had to see Western medicine, and had any choice, I choose an NP every time.What I admire most about him professionally, is his fierce dedication to the well-being of his patients and other nurses and the profession in general. I have heard him discover the core issue by going back to the basics, every time. The first thing he wants is always blood work....which for those of you who know me, know it is something I (have) do(ne) my level best to avoid, due to my extreme fear of needles. He worked ER and ICU for years and so that basic test can give him so much information.He has served on the board that helped get NP’s able to work to the level of their training without a supervising physician here in Nevada. He has gone toe to toe with doctors who were treating nurses he worked with inappropriately...ie yelling, too much responsibility or not enough.
Part of his dedication to patient wellbeing is the research he is always reading, and applying. The man reads more in the morning before breakfast than most of us do all day. He has a curious and open mind, and when presented with information that can be backed up, even when it disagrees with what he has been taught, he will use it as soon as possible. As an example, we carry a silver solution line here in the office. I wanted to use it for me, asked his opinion....the best he could say was he didn’t think it would hurt. He later went to a medical conference and saw the vendor, and proceeded to grill the man for hours over the course of the weekend...the vendor had the science, and Paul implemented it here. So, what is a Nurse Practitioner? In this case, a man who knows his stuff, keeps learning and looks at the whole person to help create a path of well-being with laughter along the way.