You’ve been there before. Sitting in a doctor’s examining room, holding together a wafer-thin way-too-revealing gown, paper crinkling under you as you shift uncomfortably and wait for what you assume will be a 10-minute exam (max) with a doctor juggling too many patients and too little time.
Then in she walks, wearing clinician scrubs, a lab coat, and a warm smile. She proceeds to do something you least expect: sit down and talk to you. More specifically, ask you – not just about your symptoms, but about your concerns, your goals, your job, your hobbies, your family, your life. Even more amazing: she actually listens! And not just with a stethoscope, but with her undivided attention.
Who is this competent, highly professional and genuinely concerned woman? You’re looking at a typical example of one of the approximately 120,000 Nurse Practitioners (NPs) practicing their unique approach to whole-person care in healthcare environments across the U.S. Increasing numbers of patients are choosing to receive their primary as well as specialty care from NPs, and for very good reason.
NPs are licensed advanced practice nurses who provide a wide scope of healthcare services similar to those provided by a doctor, in an equally wide range of clinical settings. And they’ve definitely earned the lab coats they wear. With advanced, clinical training and graduate education, on top of their training and often extensive real-world experience as registered nurses, NPs are exceptionally well qualified to diagnose and treat a spectrum of health conditions. They are also well respected as leaders in their medical fields, and as innovators in high-quality, cost-effective patient care.
But don’t expect to find them resting on their laurels. NPs are busy practicing wherever doctors do – and don’t – including hospitals, clinics, private practice, emergency rooms, urgent care, schools, nursing homes, to name a few. Many NPs hold master’s degrees and doctorates, as well as extensive training in areas of specialization such as cardiovascular, oncology, neurology, neonatal, pediatric, and an array of sub-specialties.
While equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat, NPs place equal emphasis on care and cure. This extends not just to ordering the tests, developing the treatment plan, and writing the prescriptions, but also to managing patients? overall well-being. NPs collaborate with their patients in their own health and wellness, through disease prevention, health education and counseling. By treating the person as well as the patient, NPs become a valuable source of information and guidance in making healthy life choices.
This unique whole-person approach to medical care has defined and distinguished NPs dating back to 1965, the year the first NP program launched at the University of Colorado. Forty-three years later, this core philosophy remains intact even while the role of NPs has continued to evolve with the changing needs of patients. Today, around 6,000 new NPs join the nation’s healthcare delivery system every year – the vast majority of them women who have already been practicing as nurses.
As NPs continue to improve the quality of care, they’re also lowering costs for the patients who come to rely on NPs as partners in health. In fact, patients who see NPs for their primary care often have fewer ER visits, shorter hospital stays and lower medication costs.
In honor of their vital contributions to patient care and health, the medical community recognizes November 9 – 15 as National Nurse Practitioner Week. Medelitatm, makers of premium hand-sewn lab coats and scrubs tailored for female clinicians, is pleased to draw special attention to this extraordinary group of professionals largely comprised of women.
“Nurse Practitioners epitomize the competence and confidence of the women who inspire our lab coats and scrubs,” says Medelita founder Lara Manchik, a Physician Assistant who has had the pleasure of working alongside many NPs. ‘they deserve to be recognized and rewarded for their exceptional level of personalized care. We strive to do this by offering NPs a better alternative in female clinician apparel and lab coats‘ one that reflects the careful attention to detail they offer their own patients.”
Adds Manchik, “NPs go out of their way to make people feel comfortable and confident with the care they’re receiving. We’re more than happy to return the favor.” To Nurse Practitioners caring for patients with equal parts compassion and knowledge, Medelita honors you. And thanks you.