They also act as a psychiatric in some cases as their main focus is on the prevention of illness and they do so by educating their patient about his illness and the causes which help him to take preventive measures to avoid illness.
The can provide services to patients of all ages, they can treat acute as well as chronic conditions. They also have discretion to provide medications and therapies to their patients. The three primary function of practitioner are to provide prevention, wellness and education to their patients. Their scope of working broadens when they take into care the effect of patient's illness to the people around him along with a focus on patient's condition. This preventive style of care helps reducing the future illness, medications and therapies to the patients and hence lesser expensive treatments.
Nurse practitioner may easily provide diagnosis and management facilities to their patient for diseases such as Pneumonia, BP, or Diabetics. This autonomy comes from the specialized training that they receive in their particular area of interest during their degree program for Nurse Practitioner. They are also allowed to obtain medical histories of their patients under care and to decide upon and conduct the type of medical examination they think is appropriate for the patient. They are also allowed to prescribe diagnostic studies such as lab tests, x-rays etc to help gain an insight of the causes of patient's illness.
They are also entitled to refer patients to physicians if needed or other professionals for better treatment of patient's illness. And for the reason they have good relationships with most of the physicians and surgeons.
Pursuing nurse practitioners as a profession also brings some interference and questioning to your efforts from other medical professionals around you. It is not always the case that the services of a nurse practitioner will be welcomed. Medical professionals some times think nurse practitioner as a threat to their scope of working. Specially the diagnosis and the referral part of working of a nurse practitioner is always questioned and a clear-cut definition of a nurse practitioner's role is yet to be outlined. "There are times that the autonomy of the nurse practitioner is directly challenged by other medical professionals that it is it sometimes difficult for a nurse practitioner like me to work on some specific cases (Wadsworth et al, 2002)".
Many medical professionals refuse a nurse practitioner's judgments and decisions just because of the fact that he/she does not a doctor written with his name. According to a study conducted by the RNC Nurse Practitioner Association, refusal to honour the referrals and diagnosis made by nurse practitioner is quite common. "About 44% of the nurse practitioners surveyed by the association reported that their request for X-rays and referrals were refused on the basis that these request and referrals are made by 'nurses, not by doctors' (Jane Ball, 2006)".
The refusal from some medical professionals and service providers to honour the requests made by nurse practitioner creates a big obstacle in the practice of NPs' profession. It is sometime not only frustrating but also discouraging to the passion of a NP towards his or