Should Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Work Independently of Physicians

Healthcare Autonomy

Nursing practitioners should be granted autonomy in their practice to ensure that their services reach a larger part of the population. Nursing practitioners have advanced in learning and can perform most of the functions that are carried out by doctors (Donelan et al., 2013).  Therefore, nursing practitioners and physicians assistants should be given independent in conducting their health care service provision to the people.  Such nurses can help ensure that the medical services reach people who had no ease of access before. They in this case act as a bridge between the doctor and the patient. There is a looming shortage of primary care among the population as more people seek medical services both at the community level and in the hospitals. The nurses can at such points provided the much needed help to those who have minor or major injuries that the nurses can deal with and if the cases get any complicated them can send them to the hospitals to seek further assistance. Therefore, the nursing practitioners in this cadre provide the necessary care that would have been provided by the doctors should the patients have visited a hospital. As such, they perform the basic functions of a doctor.

The increased number of people accessing health care due to increased insurance among the population has called for an increase in medical care centers to offset the shortage. As such, the government should look at the shortages posed by eth inadequate number of hospitals to serve the increasing population and provide for more avenues of involving the advanced nursing practitioners in various sectors that will help improve health care provision (Igleheart, 2013). Various lawmakers have made laws that have prohibited the autonomy of nurses and therefore measures should be put in place to change the laws to favor for the inclusion of physician assistants and nursing practitioners in various healthcare activities at the community level. Some of the opposition is from doctors and in effect physicians who fear for the safety of the patients at the hands of the nursing practitioners.

Nursing practitioners provide care to a more satisfactorily level when compared to physicians. They are readily available to the people and are not like doctors who have to attend to many issues in the hospital while living the nurses to attend to the healthcare needs of the patients. Nurses have been known to perform better as a result and therefore if they are given autonomy the will still serve the community and ensure that healthcare services are provided to the people conveniently. The convenience means that as people have increased so the number of healthcare practitioners has to increase and more healthcare centers opened to meet the increasing demand for healthcare.

Nurse practitioners who are independent will contribute greatly in lessening the shortage of medical professionals in the community (Fairman et la., 2011). Asa result more people will have access to medical services as compared to before. Hospitals have been fewer and as the population grows, more people need to access medical care. Therefore increasing the autonomy of nurses will greatly help meet the shortage of healthcare professionals in the medical field and provide more opportunities for people to receive healthcare at their convenience. Since most of the advanced nursing practitioners carry out functions that are more or less the same as those of the physicians, the demand for medical services at the community level will be greatly reduced to increase in healthcare at the community level. The independence of eth nursing practitioners will enable the country to meet the ever-increasing number of people who subscribing to various healthcare plans. The cost of healthcare will also reduce and the population will thus benefit from cheaper services that those at the hospitals. The reduced cost will enable the access of medical services by those who could not afford it before. The salaries of the   nursing practitioners and physician assistants are low. Therefore, payments for the nursing practitioners will be lower than that of doctors. Accessing care will be easier for the people than before and doctors will not have to supervise the nursing practitioners and will have more time to care for the patients. Allowing them to practice independently will give them more confidence in practicing what they have gained from the further knowledge in nursing especially at the masters and or the doctoral level.

It is therefore vital to provide autonomy to nurses about their practice. Nursing practitioners are quite a fundamental part of the medical fraternity and they should be considered especially in operating independently from the physicians. They have added much to their knowledge in the masters and doctoral and therefore are capable of doing most functions done by doctors without a lot of supervision. It is therefore important to consider making them independent to deal with the few number of doctors and the shortages created by increased health care insurance. Medical services are vital for any people and therefore measures that increase healthcare provision to the people are quite important to implement.

References

Donelan, K., DesRoches, C. M., Dittus, R. S., & Buerhaus, P. (2013). Perspectives of physicians and nurse practitioners on primary care practice. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(20), 1898-1906.

Fairman, J. A., Rowe, J. W., Hassmiller, S., & Shalala, D. E. (2011). Broadening the scope of nursing practice. New England Journal of Medicine, 364(3), 193-196.

Iglehart, J. K. (2013). Expanding the role of advanced nurse practitioners—risks and rewards. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(20), 1935-1941.

 

 

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