Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs): What s the Difference?

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1 Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs): What s the Difference?

2 More than ever before, patients receive medical care from a variety of practitioners, including physicians, physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs), nurses, and physical therapists. Each member of a medical team provides unique skills to help evaluate, diagnose, treat, and follow up on your health. Our practitioners, counselors, care managers, technical staff, and nonclinical staff partner as a team to ensure your care is comprehensive. The goal of team-based care is to: Ensure you have access to all medical specialties and services Streamline and expedite your health care Help you restore and maintain your health You are the Center of Your Medical Team You can help identify problems and partner with your practitioners in decisions about your treatment. You also can ask your practitioners for information to help you understand your condition or disease as well as your treatment options. We believe informed, educated patients are empowered to take an active role in their health.

3 PA, NP, and Nurse Roles Understanding roles for different practitioners can help empower you as a member of your medical team. In addition to helping you get the care you need, knowing more about your practitioners' expertise can help reassure you that the care you are getting is the type and quality you want and deserve. What is a physician assistant (PA)? At Summit Medical Group, PAs work closely with physicians to enhance patient care and increase patient satisfaction. PAs are licensed health care professionals with training in medicine and clinical rotations. Our PAs can: Take patient histories Perform physical examinations Diagnose and treat certain health problems Order and administer tests and interpret results Prescribe certain medications Coordinate patient care Educate and counsel patients about medication and healthy lifestyle changes Help families and physicians communicate clearly Write discharge summaries PAs care for many of the same patients as physicians, although physicians typically handle more complicated medical cases. As an important part of the Summit Medical Group health care teams, PAs never hesitate to consult with or refer patients to a physician when necessary. Because PAs help ensure that patients receive the personal attention they need, they significantly contribute to patient satisfaction. By providing individual patient care and counseling, PAs enable physicians to engage in research, focus on data from tests, and handle the most difficult cases and follow-up care. PAs at Summit Medical Group are accredited by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

4 What is an advance practice nurse (APN/NP)? The term advance practice nurse (APN) refers to nurse practitioners (NPs), certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives. APNs have advanced training in a wide range of clinical skills, diagnostic reasoning, and therapeutic interventions to treat and manage patients with acute and chronic illnesses. They also provide information about preventive care and help educate patients and their families about medical conditions and ways to maintain and improve health. Our APNs/NPs can: Take patient histories Perform physical examinations Order tests and therapies Interpret diagnostic tests Diagnose and implement interventions, treatments, and care plans Diagnose, manage, and treat acute and chronic illnesses Prescribe certain medications Assist with surgery Collaborate with patients, their family members, and other health care professionals to optimize care Initiate referrals to and coordinate care APNs often evaluate and document patients progress in achieving health goals. They are advocates for patients and their families. Nurse practitioners work closely with physicians to provide the highest standard of care for patients.

5 In addition to physician assistants and nurse practitioners, our registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can help streamline your care. What is a registered nurse (RN)? RNs at Summit Medical Group practice in every specialty to address patients' needs and support physicians, NPs, PAs, and other nursing staff. Our RNs can: Take patient histories Perform physical examinations Administer medications, give vaccinations, and care for wounds Interpret patient information to help make decisions about patients' needs Coordinate care with other practitioners Supervise certain health care personnel such as LPNs and nurses' aides What is a licensed practical nurse (LPN)? LPNs work closely with RNs, NPs, PAs, and doctors to provide basic routine care for patients. NPs, PAs, RNs, and LPNs are an important part of any medical team because they focus their skills on certain medical needs so that your doctor has more time to focus on other aspects of your care. Partnering as a team, our practitioners are well positioned to develop customized, effective, and cost-conscious treatment plans to help you live well and stay well. NPs, PAs, RNs, and LPNs are important in any medical team because they focus on certain medical needs so that your doctor can focus on other aspects of your care.

6 Summit Medical Group is pleased to serve patients at many convenient locations in northern and central New Jersey. Understanding the Difference Between NPs and PAs summitmedicalgroup.com

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