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Feb 20, 2009

Nurse Practitioners

Bilateral Queckenstedt's sign
02/20/09 - Throckmorton's Other Signs by Throckmorton

It seems that nurse practioners (NP's) are not a good replacement for doctors in an emergency room. But, they are "cost effective".

[edited] Nurse practicioners are nurses with 17 months of extra training. They replace an MD or DO who has 4 years of medical education plus 3-4 years of speciality emergency medical training.

ER cases that a doctor could treat and release can not be handled by NP's who either can't or don't know how. Worse, I am often called in for one problem and find that there is something totally different wrong with the patient. I wonder how many of the patients have been sent home with something badly wrong!

I asked a hospital administrator why the NPs are not discussing patients with their supervising MD's. He informed me that the supervising MD only reviews patient's charts. Further, the NPs can act independently.

Why don't they hire MD's? MD's cost too much because of their liability insurance. Nurse Practicioners are cheaper, with minimal insurance, because they are not held to the same standards! With EMTALA in the mix, I get called in for everything.

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