Nurse Practitioners Fill Needs In Underserved Areas, Emergency Care
Two newspapers profile the expansion of duties for nurse practitioners. Also in the news, a California law is expanding dental hygienists' options, and some video game makers are hoping to prove they are good for mental health.
The Seattle Times:
With Number Of Insured On Rise, Nurse Practitioners May Be Key Solution
Bob Smithing is an easygoing, approachable guy — traits his patients surely appreciate in their primary-care provider. But there is one thing patients can do to get a rise out of him. They can call him “Dr. Smithing.” Smithing is a nurse practitioner, a medical professional who works in a family clinic in Kent with four other nurse practitioners and no medical doctors. While there are few practices in the Puget Sound area run exclusively by these nurses with advanced training, Smithing could be a trailblazer in a new trend. (Stiffler, 8/8)
Cities Put Nurse Practitioners Alongside Paramedics
A home-bound heart patient called 911. His leg hurt where a catheter was inserted, but he didn't complain of chest pains. To paramedic Scott Fox, it was the kind of call that might have meant automatically rushing the man to a hospital emergency room. "There was no talking him out of it," Fox recalls. But now he had another option. He arrived at the man's home with a nurse practitioner, Victoria Morrison, who calmed him down, checked him out and contacted his cardiologist to set up a next day appointment. (Smouse, 8/9)
Los Angeles Times:
For Underserved Patients, Hygienists Treating Cavities Is Something To Smile About
That is changing with a new California law that authorizes dental hygienists to treat cavities without a dentist on site by placing low-cost, temporary fillings. Shore is one of the first dental hygienists in Southern California who will be certified to apply the fillings, called interim therapeutic restorations, under the law that took effect in January. She joined two dozen other dental hygiene educators and dentists Saturday for a two-day training program conducted by Northern California-based University of the Pacific on the campus of West Coast University in Anaheim. (Barboza, 8/9)
Will Doctors Soon Be Prescribing Video Games For Mental Health?
Developers of a new video game for your brain say theirs is more than just another get-smarter-quick scheme. Akili, a Northern California startup, insists on taking the game through a full battery of clinical trials so it can get approval from the Food and Drug Administration — a process that will take lots of money and several years. (Dembosky, 8/10)