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27 Jan 2017

What are Nurse Practitioners?

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Nurse practitioners play a vital role in helping diagnose and treating patients; especially in GP surgeries and hospitals where they are able to deal with minor injuries and ailments in a busy clinic.

What does a Nurse Practitioner do?

Nurse practitioner jobs often include responsibility for providing immunisations and other standard childcare, such as completing health checks for pregnant women and newborns in assistance with local midwives. 

As well as childcare duties nurse practitioners can also be responsible for continued management of diseases and illnesses. For example running a regular diabetes clinic for sufferers at the local GP surgery or health centre or providing community management for degenerative disease such as arthritis.

Nurse practitioners are also able to prescribe medication for the treatment and prevention of illnesses for patients under their care, as well as being able to order diagnostic tests such as x-rays, blood tests and MRI scans. Along with medical diagnostic tests rehabilitative therapies also fall under their remit, with physiotherapy, massage therapy and acupuncture also being tools in their quiver.

If all this wasn't enough, many nurse practitioners are able to perform minor operations on their patients such as cryotherapy and minor skin operations, such as dermoid cyst removal. 

Quite often nurse practitioners are able to spend more time with their clients, helping provide a care plan for their illness and referring them to a GP or other department if necessary. 

Nurse Practitioners: Jack of all Trades

With all of these things potentially the responsibility of nurse practitioners they need to be skilled individuals capable of working autonomously. Whilst all of these skills may be required, it may be that some aren't depending on where your nurse practitioner job is. If it is in a small, rural surgery then you could expect work to include more childcare, minor surgery and medical prescriptions than if you were in a large city surgery which may have more diagnostics involved. 

The roles you are assigned also depends on your location. Nurse practitioner jobs are common in hospitals and GP surgeries, but you could also find yourself working in community health centres, schools or colleges or even in the private sector. 

See our range of nurse practitioner jobs online for more information!