суббота, 22 сентября 2012 г.

Meet your nurse practitioner: improving access to health care, offering cost effective health care, and high quality health care. - Colorado Nurse

Nurse practitioners have been around for 40 years providing high quality of care, increasing access to healthcare and offering cost-effective healthcare to the underserved populations. Nurse Practitioners provide care in a variety of settings, including family practices, hospital-based outpatient clinics, and community clinics. In addition, Nurse Practitioners practice in a variety of specialty settings, including but not limited to geriatrics, pediatrics, oncology, surgery, cardiology, and internal medicine.

They have a master's degree and are experienced healthcare providers who are licensed to diagnose, treat ailments, and prescribe medications. They not only focus on the ailment, but they focus on the whole being of the person. This individual emphasis on health promotion, prevention of diseases, and health education help patients make better choices in taking care of themselves. Many Coloradans have been helped and treated by nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners continue to serve Coloradans in all areas of the state from rural clinics to inner city hospitals. If it were not for nurse practitioners, many Coloradans would not have access to health care.

If you have noticed in the media lately, there is a main focus on the legislative agenda which is to improve and change the healthcare system. Healthcare has become one of the main subjects with the 2008 presidential candidates and how they can fix it. The Republican Party here in Colorado announced their healthcare plan stating their focus is on improving the quality, accessibility, and cost of healthcare. The federal health report shows that access to healthcare is still an issue and needs improvement; it also states that 40 million Americans say they can't afford adequate healthcare. Please view the federal health report at www.cdc.org.

Utilizing nurse practitioners properly will increase access to health care and create a substantial cost-savings to the health care system. What better way to address these needs than to focus on how nurse practitioners can improve the healthcare needs of Coloradans and throughout the United States. The legislators need to be aware of what a nurse practitioner can do and the more barriers that are taken away from a NPs practice, the more they can provide quality health care and increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery. There are legislative barriers that have decreased the ability of the nurse practitioner to further benefit their patients. To find out more about these barriers go to www.csapn.org, or email coloradoNP@msn.com to be informed on the latest legislative activity.

Meet one of your nurse practitioners

Meet a Nurse Practitioner that was one of the pioneers in the field and has helped us forge forward into what a nurse practitioner is today. Ladean Cross is a nurse at heart, especially since she wanted to be a nurse ever since the 4th grade. In 1972, she went to the University of Northern Colorado where she had to become a chemistry major because there was no room for her in the school of nursing. When she graduated with her bachelor's degree, in 1974, she had several different nursing jobs ranging from being on the post-op floor, to the management of an infectious control unit in a minor ER center which led her to pursue a Nurse Practitioners degree.

After starting her nurse practitioner program at the University of Colorado, from 1981 to 1983, she started her NP career at Denver General Hospital in the walk-in clinic. From there, she has worked as a NP in a variety of settings. She has worked in an OB practice, after-hours clinic, internal medicine, occupational medicine, in a family practice, and even received her EMT working on the National Medical Response Team assisting with hurricane Katrina.

In 2006, she started her own family practice in Castle Rock Colorado where she is able to increase the access to healthcare for the uninsured and provide high quality cost efficient healthcare to the underserved Coloradans. What she likes most about being an NP is that she can see a patient and they come back with a smile on their face. For example, a patient that has diabetes, high BP, and not enough money to pay a family doctor is being taken care of by Ladean. She can see the patient at a lower cost with the same high quality of care. When asked what the NPs role could offer to the community, Ladean stated 'high quality of care and increased accessibility to health care.' Her family practice is open Monday-Friday 9-7, Saturdays and Sundays 9-3pm.

Ladean states that the NPs role has changed significantly since she has become one. The education level has increased. The one thing she emphasized is that the NPs role is still very vague. There is a lack in the marketing of what an NP does, as well as needed education to the physician community on what an NP can offer to the healthcare industry. The acceptance of the NP role has not changed much since she has started. She emphasizes that the NP role is centered on holistic care, 'We take care of patients not their disease. We get to know about their family and the patient as a whole.'

Rebeca Imgrund, FNP-C

DNA 30 PR Chair