What's Up, Doc?
In our urgent care there are four full time providers: three
physician assistants and myself. Our medical director, a physician, comes in
one half shift per week. As we enter a patient's room, we always introduce
ourselves by our title. "Hi, I'm Katrin and I am a nurse practitioner." There
is never any bait or switch and patients are aware of who we are right from the
beginning. Even so, I am referred to as a doctor on a daily basis. I always try
and clarify my role, but for some patients t is just habit to call you doc.
For me, it is not anything that offends me. I understand
that the role of the nurse practitioner may be a new concept for some. We are
lucky, though, that the role is present more and more not only in the primary
care offices but also in many specialty areas. Having nurse practitioners and
physician assistants in these offices often allows patients to be seen in a timelier
manner. Other nurse practitioners may take offense not being addressed by their
I have taken it a little more to heart and have decided to
apply to my graduate school's DNP program. I knew that at some point in my career
I wanted to take the plunge, I just was not sure as to when. Because of the
amount of days that I have off per week I feel like this is the best time to do
so. So although I will not be an MD, I will one day be Dr. Moskowitz.
I am officially off of orientation at work and becoming
accustomed to the increased work load. Two of us providers hold down the fort
and we are seeing the winter illnesses such as influenza and sinusitis flow in.
I have found that although I was not able to perform many procedures in the
emergency room since I was an RN, I did pick up many tricks of the trades along
This past weekend my coworker had a patient with a
dislocated toe and she asked for my opinion and guidance. When she was unable
to relocate the toe she asked if I would take a look and give it a try. I was
able to relocate the toe and when asked how I knew what to do, I just smiled
and thought of all the wonderful doctors in the ER who were willing to have a
curious nurse in the room during procedures.
Every Tuesday morning I work in the director's primary care
office covering his patients. This is a nice change to my week but comes with
its own difficulties at times. While I can handle the sick visits without
difficulties, I sometimes find it difficult to complete follow ups. I look
forward to maybe one day being able to increase my hours in primary care and
building up my own patient load and following my own patients from beginning to