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How to Help Patients as a Family Nurse Practitioner

As the name indicates, a family nurse practitioner focuses on family care. This is a specialized area of the nursing sector that could be the right one for you if you find you have the right qualifications and soft skills required to have a career as a family nurse practitioner.

In today’s world, nurses are seen as one of the most important allies in health education and preventing diseases that could make people’s lives extremely difficult and expensive. Healthcare is vital for human beings from day 0 – even as a fetus, you need to be supervised, and there will be a healthcare provider team that makes sure you’re growing and safe. So even before you remember, there was a healthcare worker taking care of you.

Being healthy is a primary need, and what happens on the inside is something that must be controlled by a medical expert. Unfortunately, we don’t have the knowledge to understand our bodies, but luckily that’s why doctors and nurses (and the rest of the health workers) exist. It’s important to educate people from a very early age on how to take care of themselves and to not fear being open about their struggles with their provider.

Nurses make that magical connection between patients and doctors, so they are the most relevant part of honest and open communication. Nurses should have great communication skills and show empathy toward their patients. They should be able to make their patients feel comfortable with them so that they don’t hide problems from them out of embarrassment.

Therefore, being a nurse is one of the best careers to have if you like to help patients and also love to communicate with others. It’s a career that englobes human and social aspects and will directly impact most people’s lives. As a certified family nurse practitioner, you will be in charge of families, helping to shape not only one person’s life at a time but several. It is a very important job, and if you’re considering making a change from being a general nurse practitioner to family health care, then there are some things you should consider and analyze before you take that leap.

Why should you specialize as a family nurse practitioner and not only as an NP?

The main difference between these two is that an FNP is a more advanced specialized nurse who needs to have a master’s or doctorate degree. You have to be a registered nurse, and then later you can choose to go into family care.

This is not the only difference, though. Nurses who are interested in caring for people of all age groups should also make a career as an FNP because that is their area of specialization when working with families. Imagine a family of two people you already offer primary care to; if they have children, you will also take care of the newborn. It’s a role that provides care from a young age to the elderly.

As an FNP, you will diagnose diseases and help to treat them, but also among your duties may be health promotion and education. Especially if you decide to work in a facility with a difficult socioeconomic background, educating patients about health may be your main focus. When choosing where to work, you should keep these small yet big differences in mind so you can work wherever your responsibilities are within your scope of knowledge and preference.

Another difference you will encounter when you make the leap from being a registered nurse to specialized family care is the higher incomes. Because it is more advanced care, the income shows that too, sometimes being double the annual salary of a registered nurse.

In conclusion, if you feel passionate about your patients and want the human touch and to feel connected to them, a career as an FNP might be the right fit for you. It is a role that brings more respect and is so rewarding.

What can be your duties and responsibilities as an FNP?

Depending on the facility you work for, your duties and responsibilities as an FNP may vary. You can work for a doctor’s office, a clinic, hospital, community center, nursing home, or even independently. FNPs don’t need the supervision of a doctor to prescribe medications, so if your state allows it, you can work for yourself.

The following duties and responsibilities may be present at different facilities, depending on the area you’re in, the demand for a certain skill, or even if you choose so. You may have to record patient health histories, listen to patients and determine their symptoms, perform physical exams, diagnose diseases including mental health conditions, track patients’ developing conditions and adjust treatments, educate and promote healthy habits, discuss nutrition, assist in minor surgeries, refer patients to a specialist when necessary, and offer primary care, focusing on preventative care.

Your duties may not be limited to these, nor be all of these, but this list encompasses different medical facilities and needs.

Have a bigger impact as an FNP

If you’re still not sure about why you should make that leap into family care, then these are some more reasons to become a nurse practitioner focused on why you’ll have a bigger impact on patients’ lives as a family nurse practitioner.

Becoming an FNP may sound daunting, and that may be the reason why you’re still struggling with this idea. It requires a lot of work and studying, and then you still have to deal with passing exams and getting certified. It may take a few years after you start working as a registered nurse to even be able to become a family nurse practitioner. So, why should you go through all of that? If the income is not that important to you, then you might look at it from a human perspective.

Chances are, you are a nurse because you want to help people. You may be interested in the healing and treatments offered, but you might also have a soft spot for educating and explaining to people how the body works and what you should and shouldn’t do to lead a healthy life. The problem is that, as an RN, you may not get the chance to work on these different areas. You will have fewer responsibilities that will only increase with seniority, and you might never even see your patients again.

As an FNP, you will utilize your compassionate side; you have to be empathetic towards your patients and also have strong communication skills. The role of an FNP seems more human, so if you feel like you have the specific soft skills an FNP requires you to have, then you can make a huge impact on peoples’ lives. The world will be a better place with more passionate FNPs in it.

How can you help patients as a family nurse practitioner?

  • Through your relationship with them

Building relationships with your patients will be one of the best ways to get your patients to trust you and be confident with your answers. Even though this may take a little more time, the close relationship you will develop with them leads to happier, healthier patients as they feel more prone to make better choices for themselves.

In fact, FNPs are better prepared to build more meaningful relationships with their patients due to the education and training they have to go through, so the results in how successful an appointment goes are incredible. Patients appreciate the FNP’s expertise and the positive exchange that comes more naturally between practitioner and patient, and they’ll notice a higher level of patient engagement as a consequence of this.

Encouraging your patients to share more information about their lives and conditions will make for better primary care for that patient, and they will appreciate the time you took with them. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Building these provider-patient relationships may seem daunting at the beginning for an FNP, but there are certain steps you may take to ensure you can build rapport and trust with your patients from day one. Remember to always listen to your patients; you can use the technique of ‘repetition’ for two reasons: to make sure you understood what they said and so that they feel like you’re paying attention, which will build their trust in you. Then, you should always maintain patient confidentiality, this is an obvious one, but it is key to keeping that relationship strong. As mentioned before, encourage your patients to be open with you and request their participation in transforming their lives.

It will take time, but in the end, building these relationships will be your best chance at truly helping your patients as a family nurse practitioner.

  • It’s more than just one patient

In your career as an FNP, you will most likely encounter families to offer primary care to. Even more so, you will most likely accompany a patient from the prenatal to the geriatric stage, which will make your care more focused and appropriate since you’ll know the history of the patient.

FNPs have the chance to make informed decisions about treatments and even diagnosis, and since the information is at the tips of their fingers because they don’t need to wait for notes and documents from other practitioners, they can easily point patients on the right track. They’ll know what questions need to be asked for that particular patient.

Moreover, by working closely with families, family nurse practitioners will know more about those patients. They’ll know and understand their biological factors, social background, economic situation, and even lifestyle factors that are probably shared in the family, therefore leading to more appropriate decision-making in terms of medication and/or treatments. The same applies to mental health issues; if the FNP knows there is a history on the mother’s or father’s side, they can keep a close look on children and teenagers.

It’s more than just one patient; you can help your patients through their whole family with the knowledge you’ll get that no other role has the availability for.

  • Through your expertise and knowledge

The years you’ll attend school, plus the years required before you can be accepted into a master’s or doctoral degree in family practice, will give you the knowledge and practical expertise that will accelerate your career as an FNP.

You’ll have extensive medical knowledge, with coursework in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and others that will offer you advanced and expert knowledge in all areas of medicine. Not to mention the number of clinical practice hours you’ll have to pass to get your degree. With all this put together, how could you not have the right tools to help your patients through informed, expert decisions for their health?

As an FNP, you will also be expected to know how to manage a crisis, make clinical decisions, and counsel your patients. It’s a well-rounded role that only has great benefits for your patients. Without an expert, people may have to look for answers for months or years before certain conditions are found. This will lead to a more severe diagnosis that could have been prevented simply by a practitioner who would know what to look for from a medical standpoint and who will know their patients, so the answers might come up more easily.

Every practitioner wants to help their patients. You don’t get into medicine if you don’t have a human side that craves being able to help and cure people. There are different options to fulfill that desire; however, as an FNP, you will have more direct contact with your patients, therefore being able to help them quickly and in a more informed way.

If you’re worried about how to help your patients, chances are you’re already doing a good job because you’re thinking about how to become a better medical provider. You can start by following the above-mentioned tips to give you a little boost in confidence and to show you how you can start building those patient-practitioner relationships, and soon you’ll see a huge difference in how open your patients are with you and how much more accepting of your treatments they are.

 

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What Your “Glamping” Cabin Should Include

Glamping is a modern twist on traditional camping for those who love nature but prefer to experience it from the comfort of a cozy cabin. While it has mainly come to be associated with “girly-girls” who hate dirt and bugs, glamping has also made camping more accessible to those with allergies, chronic pain, and other health needs that require an indoor environment for camping. Regardless of why you choose to glamp (it’s okay to not like bugs!), there are some things your cabin should definitely have.

Hot Tub

Who says camping can’t be relaxing? Sit back and listen to the birds sing while you and your friends relax in your cabin’s hot tubs CT. Having a drink while you soak can help you unwind to the sounds of nature. Watching the sun rise or set from the comfort of a hot tub is particularly peaceful.

Picture Windows

During the day, it can be refreshing to look through a huge picture window and see the beautiful scenery beyond your cabin. The sunrise will wake you up if your window is in the east, and if it is in the west you can cozy up with a blanket and watch it set. This is also a wonderful way to stargaze at night without worrying about mosquitos.

Fire Pit

Just because you’re camping indoors doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good campfire. You can still roast marshmallows, hot dogs, and even a foil dinner with a fire pit right outside of your cabin. You don’t have to give up these camping classics when you opt for glamping.

There are so many parts of traditional camping that you can still experience from the comfort of a cabin. Whether you dislike the company of bugs, prefer the comfort of a bed, need an outlet for a mobility aid, or just don’t like being outdoors, glamping can still get you face-to-face with nature while still meeting your personal needs.

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