Nurse Mom to Five here. A question I have had before is this- are nurse practitioners doctors?
The answer is no, they are not the same, but they can do many of the same things as a doctor. I truly feel like they take more time, are more thorough and take the whole picture of the patient. Here is a wonderful comparison if you are wondering kind of what the difference is between them.
I personally would chose a nurse practitioner over a doctor in many cases. The NP's I have seen over the years have a more thorough visit and take the time to really listen to me. Now many doctors I have seen also do this as well, but overall I feel that NP's are more empathetic.NP's also tend to be more holistic, and are also critical thinkers. I have also been to a PA's or Physician Assistant, which is pretty similar to a Nurse Practitioner.
I have had many NP's that are more open to alternative therapies throughout my nursing career, but it also depends on the personality of the provider. I am up front with all of my providers no matter what they think about the way I take care of my kids. Be your child's advocate in all cases, and if you don't happen to jive with somebody, know that there is always someone else to try out.
A doctor has its pluses and minuses just like an NP- I have also had lots of great doctors that have taken the time to listen to me. My hope for you is that you can make an educated decision on your healthcare provider, and know what the difference is. I have had all sorts of experiences with many doctor visits over the years, and also working along side many different health care providers.
When would you want a doctor over an NP? Well that depends on your needs. If you are normally healthy and your children are normally healthy, than a family practice NP would be wonderful. If you have special needs or something that is very specialized then I would chose a doctor.
NP's essentially do the same things as a doctor, but they don't get paid as much :-)
I hope you can make a well-informed decision and do what is best for your family.
Have a wonderful day!!!
The Nurse Mom
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