Category: Advanced Practice

Your Role in Your Patients’ Advance Care Plans

National Healthcare Decisions Day (something of a misnomer, since it’s been extended to an entire week this year) serves as a means of initiating often difficult conversations between Americans, their loved ones, and their healthcare providers, about living wills, end-of-life directives, and other types of advance care decisions. It’s understandable why many view such undertakings with trepidation, whether due to fear of death, or simply assuming it would be too much of a hassle. As a result, as many as three quarters of Americans don’t have some form of advance directive, including as many as one quarter of people aged 60 or older, for whom they are most crucial. (more…)

How to Cope With and Thrive Working the Graveyard Shift

If you are planning on working as a healthcare traveler, you may be working the overnight shift, also known as the graveyard shift. Although physical, speech and occupations therapists will almost always work day shift, nurses are needed around the clock. Whether you will be new to working overnight or have been doing it for years, it can be a challenge to work through the night. (more…)

Physician Assistants in Oncology

I became very familiar with the field of oncology when my father was admitted to the hospital with cancer a few years ago. As I was the only person able to organize his care, I learned a great deal about the various specialties and how the doctors and nurses worked together. For the longest time, I thought the person I was seeing so frequently at first was a doctor, and it wasn’t until my father had been in the hospital that I found out “Dr. John” was actually a physician assistant.


His primary oncologist was Dr. Butler, which I knew, I simply thought Dr. John was another doctor on the team. I saw him more often than Dr. Butler, although I liked them both equally. Throughout my father’s various treatments and hospitalizations, I would come to realize that there are numerous physician assistants in the field of oncology. (more…)

The Difference Between a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and a Physician Assistant (PA)

As many patients know, people rarely see a medical doctor for routine physical examinations anymore. They are far more likely to have an appointment with a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Physician Assistant (PA) who works in the practice. Many people are unaware of what each title actually means. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know the difference for a very long time. What is the difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant? (more…)

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