The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner

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By Sven Larsen (@zemoga)

Dont think that nurse practitioners arent onto you.

The drinks, the swag the truth is, theyve seen physicians fall temptation to pharma incentives. Theyve read the literature chastising Big Pharma for influencing doctors treatment decisions. And as we observed in yesterdays post on nurse communities, they talk to each other about it.

Weve talked about why pharma should pay more attention to nurses, but why are nurse practitioners off the radar? Nurse practitioners are registered healthcare professionals who have received advanced education and medical training. Their extended functions include initiating diagnostic procedures, referring patients to medical specialists, and prescribing medicines. To begin to design an effective plan of action to reach these integral members of the medical community, here are a few questions that need to be considered.

What kind of data matters most to a nurse practitioner? Remember: nurses define themselves by the “human touch that they lend to the science of diagnosing and treating patients. Theyre about personal connections and stories.

Whats the environment a nurse practitioner works in? Nurse practitioners are always on the move, and some of them even travel for a living. Mobile technology is going to be a big part of their day-to-day operations. Theyre going to want access to records and procedures. They need information about the drugs they administer. Speaking of which¢‚Ǩ¬¶

Where do nurse practitioners learn about new medicines? Nurse practitioners arent privy to the same tricks pharma has used on physicians. They arent likely to be available for sales presentations. They wont fall for incentive tactics. They attend trade conferences. They take classes. They do their research. They go online. They talk to each other.

How do nurse practitioners communicate with their patients? It is part of the nurse practitioners job to educate their patients about treatment. What language do they use to simplify the medical jargon? What tools do they use to illustrate the effects? You can produce these tools. You can help make their jobs easier.

Delivering personal care to promote the healing process is at the heart of the nursing profession. Nurse practitioners are under increased pressure to juggle this with several other plates. Staying on top of pharma literature, translating it to their role within the medical community, and educating their patients on the drugs they take can be overwhelming. But never take for granted that nurse practitioners are savvy. They only want the best for their patients, so they are constantly learning and constantly observing. What are you doing to help them fulfill their roles?

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3 Responses to The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner

  1. I’m glad that you made the point that we are not falling for the big pharma tactics. I prescribe medications based on how well they work on my patients, not based on what each pharma’s rep says is in their individual studies. I won’t read a study unless it has sufficient numbers in it either. I guess some of the statistics classes did rub off onto me.