I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.
When most people think of healthcare jobs with significant patient responsibility, they often think of doctors. If you want more patient responsibility, but would prefer a career that allows you to spend more time with patients, there are other career fields that might be a better fit for you.
The role of nurse practitioner (NP) requires advanced education in the field of nursing, such as a masters degree. One of the major benefits of becoming an NP is you often work as a liaison between doctors and patients. When illnesses are not considered serious, patients often make an appointment directly with NPs to make a diagnosis and prescribe non-narcotic medications. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may also be able to prescribe certain types of mental health medications, such as antidepressants.
NPs also work in specialized environments where they can make assessments of patients and note their progress on a current medication therapy. For example, an NP in a rheumatology office might see patients between visits with the rheumatologist. They can perform joint exams to help the rheumatologist determine if a current treatment is reducing inflamed joints and swelling.
Physician assistants (PAs) can work in any number of settings, much like an NP. To become a PA, you must attend a special post-baccalaureate program. Some training programs also have residency or fellowship programs that can lead to working in specialty areas much like a medical doctor. This can include orthopedics, emergency medicine, neurocritical, or any number of other fields. Many PAs are employed in hospitals, especially in the emergency room. Since many ERs, especially those in populated areas or that are designated as Level I trauma centers, see numerous patients each day, having PAs available is invaluable for the management of acute care.
Becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) requires an advanced degree in nursing, such as a masters or doctoral level degree and acquiring certification. Many CRNAs work in hospital settings and may be called upon for emergency situations or planned surgeries. They work closely with the anesthesiologist and surgical teams to properly administer sedation during procedures and monitor the vitals of the patient during the procedures. Being a CRNA is especially gratifying if you consider yourself a "people person" because you work with patient in some of their most vulnerable moments and can help ease their fears. Some CRNAs may work in office or outpatient settings to aid in procedure that require light, "twilight" sedation, such as dental surgery, gynecological procedures, or diagnostic testing.
There are several healthcare fields that allow you to become more involved with patient care and may not require you to see as many patients throughout the day, thereby increasing the time you can spend with each one. Talk with a staffing agency like SOS Healthcare Staffing about options in these fields or other patient-centered career choices.Share
13 May 2017