The Primary Duties of a Family Nurse Practitioner
Finding the right career can be a challenging task to accomplish. However, the key to living and enjoying the life you want can start and end with making a wise career decision. If you have the right personality for the job, you may want to consider becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP). Learning about many of the primary duties can be helpful in making your decision. Keep in mind that it’s likely you won’t ever have to look for a job again because of the increasing demand for this position.
Physicals for all ages
It’s ideal to find a family nurse practitioner in your local area that will care for your entire family. This is especially true if you have several children and are continuing to grow your clan.
Getting a routine physical could be one of the top ways to enjoy good health for many years to come. Below are some of the items you can typically expect to be checked off during this doctor’s visit:
- Accurate measurement of your height and weight.
- Measurement of current blood pressure reading, with the normal reading being 120/80.
- Discussion of any pain or medical issues you may be experiencing.
- Learn about any vaccinations that may improve your health.
- Create an order to have bloodwork completed to evaluate your current health status.
- Provide advice on future medical tests you should complete.
- Question your family medical history to determine specific risks you may have.
Working closely with a family nurse practitioner is an excellent option for maintaining good health. It’s your job as the patient to always be honest with your healthcare provider about all your medical concerns. Some patients are more comfortable discussing their concerns with a provider of the same sex. This may raise the question are male nurses in demand? Within the US, there is a rising demand for both male and female nurse practitioners. Carson-Newman offers an MSN-FNP program that allows nurses to continue working full-time as they work towards becoming a family nurse practitioner.
Confirm a diagnosis
When dealing with any medical concerns, it’s vital to express your symptoms to the nurse. Getting to the root of your health issue is by far the most effective method for treating it and allowing you to feel better faster.
A FNP may ask the following questions during this visit:
- Are you feeling any pain today?
- If so, where is the discomfort and how long have you had it?
- Are you eating a nutritious meal each day?
- Are you mobile and able to get around your home without pain?
- Did the pain occur while doing any specific activity?
- How long have you been experiencing this discomfort?
- Have any medical tests been performed for this condition?
- What medications, if any, are you currently taking?
It’s critical to be very upfront with your nurse to ensure you obtain the right medical advice to get the best treatment. Always ask your own questions during this time to help you better understand what to expect.
In order to obtain an accurate diagnosis regarding any medical issue, it is often necessary to have a series of tests completed. Resolving the problem will start and end by finding out what is wrong with your body.
Below are some tests your nurse practitioner may order:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- CAT Scan
- Various types of bloodwork
- X-rays of the body part causing the pain
- Pap smear
- Kidney function test
- Gastric fluid analysis
- Toxicology test
- Ultrasound of certain body parts
This is just a short list of tests that you can expect depending on your individual medical condition. Always get a completed order from your medical provider to ensure you can have the tests done with ease.
Create a treatment plan
Whether you have an acute or chronic illness, you’ll want to have a treatment plan in place. This is the key to restoring your health and giving you the peace of mind necessary to go about your life.
Of course, the treatment plan can only be created once there is a diagnosis. It’s typically a lot of work to get to this point and may involve numerous medical tests and inquiries.
There are varying treatment options, including some of the below:
- Prescription medications that may be necessary to take for the short or long term.
- Scheduling surgery to repair the medical condition.
- Scheduling physical therapy to help improve the issues and ensure a higher quality of life.
- Relying on varying medical devices to ease your discomfort.
- Chiropractic care that may realign the body for optimal results.
- Keeping a daily diary of your symptoms and food intake can be helpful.
- Arranging for counselling with a professional in your local area.
Management of chronic conditions
There are millions of people that deal with chronic conditions. This can be difficult to control without routinely seeing a healthcare provider for assistance.
Some common chronic health issues include diabetes, high blood pressures, erectile dysfunction and obesity. However, taking prescription medications daily could be the key to reducing symptoms and maintaining a higher quality of life.
One regular job a family nurse practitioner does is write prescriptions for the chronic sufferer. Often these may need to be tweaked and adjusted for optimal results over time.
Getting better when you’re ill may often mean having a certain procedure performed. There are many procedures a nurse practitioner can do that may not only allow support healing but may also instantly provide relief.
Since this position doesn’t require as much education as a doctor, the number of procedures that can be performed are limited. However, some of these are listed below:
- Perform pap smears for females.
- Do routine bloodwork.
- Complete skin biopsies.
- Insertion of contraceptive devices.
- Collect urine samples to send to the lab.
- Assist doctors with major procedures for a proper diagnosis.
It’s vital for the patient and provider to thoroughly discuss the procedure that is going to be performed beforehand. This will eliminate the possibility of any confusion and allow for the best outcome.
Create a diet and exercise program
There are millions of people that are obese. There’s no doubt that carrying extra weight can cause additional stress on many parts of the body, including the heart, lungs and joints.
Consulting with a family nurse practitioner can be an effective way to get the support and information necessary to assist you in weight loss. There are numerous ways a healthcare provider in this area can guide you in reaching your goals.
The number of calories you should eat daily is dependent on your overall body weight and activity level. This figure should be adjusted to support weight loss and allow you to reach any goals.
Additionally, it’s always best to consult with a medical provider prior to starting any diet or beginning an exercise program. This will help you to avoid unwanted health issues when you’re working to feel your best.
Offer health counselling
The main goal of any individual that’s routinely visiting a medical facility is to remain well. The ideal way to make this possible often requires getting routine physical exams, eating right, exercising and getting high-quality sleep.
While a nurse practitioner can assist with advice on better health for you, they can also provide health counselling. This could involve learning better ways to live a healthier life.
Receiving counselling to improve your health may allow you to feel more educated on the ways to ensure your body looks and feels good. It can be a real challenge to know all the things that can assist you in feeling your best without seeking health counselling from a nurse practitioner.
Provide preventative services
The best way to avoid any sickness is by taking strides to prevent it if possible. There are numerous ways your health provider can guide you on remaining well.
Some of the things your nurse practitioner may advise you to do are below:
- Get certain vaccinations to prevent illness.
- Stay at home more often to avoid getting Covid-19.
- Eat a healthy diet that consists of fruits and vegetables.
- Stay active and aim to get in more walks and cardio exercises daily.
- Avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
- Stay connected to friends and families for support during challenging times.
- Join a church to assist you in making connections with others and for spiritual guidance.
It’s very important to do all you can to avoid sickness by taking preventative measures. People are getting older every day and aging typically increases the chances of an increase in health problems. Additionally, the pandemic has created an influx of both acute and chronic illnesses that must be treated by a medical professional.
Care for minor injuries
There are many health issues that may arise suddenly. If you have a young family, the chances are significant that accidents can happen quickly.
Regardless of how careful you may be, injuries can still occur. Below are many of the injuries a nurse practitioner may address:
- Small cuts or wounds from an accident.
- Identify torn ligaments or muscle strains.
- Diagnose and treat arthritis.
- Attend to bone fractures properly.
- Prepare a cast for broken bones.
- Properly prepare and change a dressing on a healing wound.
Being able to avoid the emergency room when possible is ideal for most people. It’s much more convenient to see your local healthcare provider for the treatment of minor injuries routinely.
Provide a referral
If you’re dealing with a complicated medical condition, you may need to see a specialist. This is a health provider that has had extensive education in a specific area.
There are many conditions a nurse practitioner simply won’t have the knowledge to treat. However, they will have access to several specialists in your area that can help.
The most efficient way to get in to see a specialist is by getting a referral. Otherwise, it can be impossible to obtain the care necessary to get well within the shortest timeframe.
Diagnose mental health disorders
If you’re dealing with a mental health challenge, it’s a good idea to see a healthcare provider. There are many tests that can be completed to evaluate the extent of your mental health problem.
Mental health issues can be debilitating, but there are treatments that can help quickly and enable you to get on with your life. Some of these are listed below:
- Take a medication for your specific mental health condition.
- Get a referral to a counsellor to help with the proper treatment.
- Participate in testing that will determine the state of your mental health.
- Consider getting support through group therapy to improve your condition.
- Meet with a therapist on a continual basis for support and treatment.
The first thing you will need to do is admit you have a mental health issue. Doing this will allow you to get the proper treatment to allow you to feel your best in both the short and long term.
Track symptom and treatment responses
One of the most important roles of a family nurse practitioner is to learn of any symptoms you may be experiencing. This is the first place to start to assist with finding and beginning the right treatment for healing.
Fortunately, this goal can be accomplished by scheduling visits with your nurse practitioner on a routine basis. Talking about your symptoms and how these may be improving or increasing over the course of treatment is vital for a faster recovery.
Looking at the results of your treatment efforts can allow your healthcare provider to continue the efforts or to alter treatment for a better response. It’s important to avoid skipping any medical visits for this reason alone.
Talk to family members
There are situations that occur when the diagnosis of an individual can be serious. For instance, if an older patient has experienced a heart attack, this may require care assistance from family members.
One of the responsibilities of family nurse practitioners is to meet with the family to discuss the medical status of this patient. Ensuring there is proper care and assistance given when the patient returns home may depend on having a long discussion with all family members.
Additionally, the nurse practitioner can create a timeline of when the patient may become more self-sufficient. This can help serve as a guide for the family to adhere to for the best results.
Coordinate with additional caregivers
Some patients may have multiple medical providers. This is frequently the case when a person has multiple health issues, and various medical care is necessary.
The nurse practitioner can work closely with other caregivers to assist in establishing the best treatment plan for this individual. There are many issues that may need to be addressed, such as the proper medication, therapy, surgery or other treatment methods.
Providing telehealth services
Due to the pandemic, the option to meet with a medical provider online has become more and more popular. This is a convenient and safe method for both the nurse and the patient.
Not having to sit in a doctor’s office can drastically reduce the chances of being infected with a virus. This is ideal during the cold and flu seasons and while Covid-19 is still a concern.
It’s necessary to have a computer with a webcam, a tablet or a smartphone to schedule a telehealth visit with your medical provider. It’s a great idea to keep a list of questions nearby for your scheduled appointment. Doing so will enable you to get the most out of your visit and this can be effective in getting the best treatment.
Managing other nurses
If the medical facility is large enough, a nurse practitioner may be responsible for managing other nurses. It can take a lot of effort to keep a medical office going. Ensuring all the daily interactions are completed successfully will take time.
There are numerous tasks that must be done regularly, such as creating schedules, hiring additional staff and keeping the offices clean. It takes a great deal of management for any doctor’s office to function efficiently.
A trained nurse practitioner can typically tackle this job with ease and efficiency. This is largely because they are familiar with what needs to happen in a medical office throughout the day.
Feeling the best is likely to be foremost on any person’s agenda each day. Ensuring health is cared for will enable an individual to get more out of life. Being active is vital for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeking medical treatment when necessary is vital.
There are many advantages of being a nurse practitioner and these include gaining a great deal of personal satisfaction in helping others. Additionally, it’s possible to earn a great income in this career. Keep in mind it’s important that you enjoy working with others because this will be an up close and personal job. However, the benefits of being in this position are certain to be worth all the effort of getting the right education to do so. The good news is that it’s likely you will never run out of work opportunities due to the high demand for nurse practitioners.