Physicians divide their time between patients in the office, performing procedures and rounding at the hospital. Because their schedules are varied and rotate frequently, they may not always be available for an appointment that works with the patient’s schedule. To ensure your healthcare concerns are addressed in a timely manner, Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. employs Physician Assistants (PA) and Nurse Practitioners (NP). They are sometimes referred to as Advanced Practice Providers (APP). These healthcare providers work closely with your physician to ensure that the care you receive follows the treatment plan designated by your physician.
Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants may also care for you in the hospital. Gastroenterology Associates, P.A. uses these providers to provide an additional level of care for their patients. Often they follow a patient from admission through discharge so that patients are seen each day by the same provider in addition to the physician who is “rounding” at the hospital. You might also be seen in the office by APP for hospital follow up care.
A Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner will not replace your regular physician, or perform procedures. You may see the NP or PA for medication refills or to review test results. A Physician Assistant is someone who has a degree from an American Medical Association approved school, and a Bachelors of Science or a Masters of Science Degree. They must pass national board exams and the Medical Practice Act exam. They can perform medical exams, order tests and prescribe certain medications. A Nurse Practitioner is a Registered Nurse who has an advanced Masters in Nursing from an accredited school and takes national certification exams to become a RNP – Registered Nurse Practitioner. They can perform medical exams, order tests and prescribe medications.