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What parts of being a nurse practitioner do you find the most challenging?


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Sarah’s Answer

I think the hardest part of being an NP (especially a new one) is gaining confidence in your skills. The NP role is so different from working as an RN and you have to make medical decisions without input from a physician or other colleagues. I found myself doing a lot of continuing education hours + reviewing school notes + reading other text books in order to provide the best evidenced based care.
I would say the second most challenging part of my job is patient education. A lot of people come into the clinic and already know what they want and think they know what the best treatment option is. A good example of this is wanting a z-pack for a common cold. A lot of providers will give in and give the patient the z-pack and then you are left to explain to the patient next time they are sick, that a cold is virus and a zpack is not indicated. Its a fine balance between keeping the patient happy and providing the best care for the patient.

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Joanne’s Answer

Explaining to people what exactly you do for a living. Many patients dont know what a nurse practitioner does. People are familiar with the word physician but not the term practitioner. Therefore, they lack confidence at first when you say that you're a nurse practitioner.

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Rachel’s Answer

I work with NP's on a regular basis at a cancer center. Sometimes the patients depend more on the NP's than the physicians for emotional support. This can be a heavy load to carry for years on end.

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