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What Do Family Nurse Practitioners Actually Do?

Family Nurse Practitioners To stay a cut above the rest, nurses have to constantly upskill and, therefore, they will enroll in higher-degree programs. The investment that goes into pursuing studies helps them find more opportunities for employment later on.

A family nurse practitioner, or FNP, is no different. These professionals have highly sought-after specialized skills that enable them to charge more. Education plays a huge role in a nurse’s ability to attract more work. A degree can open new career pathways.

So, if you are someone who wants to pursue a degree in nursing, an FNP degree should be on the top of your priority list. A degree can open new career pathways. There are accelerated programs such as MSN - FNP Online | UT Arlington, to help you become an FNP quicker than it would normally take.

Here’s a primer on what an FNP actually does:

1. Makes Proper Diagnosis of Medical Conditions

To choose a treatment route, doctors first make a diagnosis of the patient’s medical condition. However, under normal circumstances, FNP nurses can do the same. These nurses can conduct medical exams and tests and prescribe proper treatment accordingly. Diagnosis is a delicate process. It involves studying a patient's case deeply and making a judgment call based on the available data.

2. Does Routine Physicals

Patients with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or arthritis, need routine checkups. The checkups consist of monitoring blood pressure and weight over a period of time. Regular checkups require attention to detail and familiarity with the patient’s historical medical records, but, on top of all that, an FNP nurse needs to be well-versed in the duties and requirements of her job.

To get yourself acquainted with the rigors of the nursing profession and the duties required of an FNP, you can look to enroll yourself in an online MSN-FNP program so that you can acquire the qualification as well as experience of being an FNP.

3. Recommends Treatment Plans (Medical as well as Holistic)

Nurses incorporate modern medicine along with holistic medicine. FNP nurses also work as guides for the patients and help them choose the best treatment plan for their needs. Suppose a patient shows signs of mental stress, then, in that case, FNP nurses know that the use of only modern medical methods and products won’t rid the patient of the problem without incorporating therapy to supplement the treatment. Similarly, patients are recommended for other treatment options by FNP nurses if the patient’s medical diagnosis warrants it.

Family Nurse Practitioners 4. Orders and Interprets Lab Reports

A patient’s treatment involves a number of medical exams and tests. These tests are conducted with a view to facilitating accurate diagnosis. Assigning and conducting these tests is part of an FNP nurse’s routine. Later, when these reports are submitted, the FNP nurse interprets and explains them to the patient. The nurse’s notes on specific medical tests can help out senior physicians in prescribing further treatment options.

5. Makes Appropriate Referrals

A good FNP nurse knows when to delegate authority on a specific medical decision. Matters above the expertise of FNP nurses are referred to senior doctors. Having familiarity with a particular patient’s medical history makes the FNP nurses invaluable to doctors.

For example, if a child shows signs of damaged hearing, FNP will first carry out audibility tests. The nurse will determine the extent of the damage. And, later, the nurse will send the report along with notes to an on-duty ENT specialist. Usually, they work with these professionals as personal staff.

6. Assist In Minor Operation

Surgeons are usually assisted by a group of highly qualified surgery nurses. However, for certain minor surgeries, such as cataracts removal, FNP nurses are also invaluable help because they assist with the cleanliness, maintenance and upkeep of the patients. This helps a hospital save up on time and resource as there’s an acute shortage of nursing staff everywhere.

FNP nurses can pick up a thing or two through their close work association with doctors and are usually the preferred option of choice for patients’ routine follow-ups.

Wrap Up

FNPs are an asset to the healthcare sector. These professionals hold an advanced degree, which makes them qualified enough to work on patients in the absence of doctors. Their skillset includes patient assessment, diagnosis, suggesting treatment plans, referring patients to professional doctors, assigning notes and comments to lab reports and tests, and sometimes working with a patient independently on routine follow-ups. In addition to prescribing plans based on modern medicine, they also prescribe therapy and other holistic treatment options if the complexity of the case allows for it. Finally, the most critical role, which puts them in a category of their own is their invaluable assistance with medical surgeries. Nurses have to juggle many things at any given time, and this puts them in a profoundly stressful situation, but their hard work in keeping the healthcare sector up and running cannot be overstated enough.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 15th December 2021.

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