Wilderness Medicine Courses for Nurse Practitioners

My husband and I honeymooned in Bora Bora. It was all it was cracked up to be and more. Blue waters, tropical fish, tiki huts, and even an unwelcome tropical downpour graced our vacation. The entire time we were on the island, however I had this slight unsettled feeling. "What if I had an appendicitis...where would I go?" I thought. The island was so remote that for any medical care other than a simple laceration or sprained ankle, med evac would be necessary. 

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5, 5-Minute Ways for Nurse Practitioners to Unwind

When I get home from working in the ER, I need a few minutes to decompress. I have been talking to strangers nonstop, staring into a twilight zone of fluorescent lights, listening to the incessant bleep bleep of monitors, and have yet to experience even a brief moment of silence. My husband is the same way. Upon arriving home from work, we simply glance at each other across the kitchen and immediately understand not to ask about the other's day...at least not yet. 

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Writing Prescriptions as a Nurse Practitioner: The FAQ's

It seems that working in the emergency department some days all I do is write prescriptions. Muscle relaxers for back pain, nausea medications for vomiting, and migraine meds for headaches. Prescribing is at the core of many nurse practitioner's practice. Unfortunately, the guidelines surrounding this privilege can be difficult to sort through and understand. 

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Book Club: My Sister's Keeper

Does anyone else find fall the perfect time to read? The weather is just crisp enough not to feel guilty about curling up indoors under a cozy blanket with a good book. Personally, I prefer an evening spent on my front porch wearing baggy sweats with a glass of wine half-watching the joggers running by as I click through the pages of my Kindle. This is why I finished this month's Book Club read (and my last bottle of wine...) so quickly. Well, the fall, the wine, and the fact that it was a fantastic novel, that is.

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What are PECARN Rules? Hint: They Don't Involve Nuts

Deciding when to order a CT scan in the case of a head injury can be a frustrating process. Yes, the likelihood of a serious finding is often low, but do you really want to be wrong when it comes to a head injury? Absolutely not- the stakes are too high. In kids, the CT decision becomes an even riskier process. Ordering a CT scan unnecessarily increases risk of radiation-related malignancy later in life. Enter the PECARN rules. 

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10 Questions Your Patients Will Ask About This Year's Flu Shot

Guess what NP's?  It's that time of year again...flu season.  The buildup to flu season is always quite a production for everyone. Influenza myths are tossed around, and patients and providers alike share their personal beliefs about the flu shot playing the fine line between procrastinating from being vaccinated but not waiting too long.  Faced with the threat of being forced to wear a mask everyday at work for the next six months, I will be getting my influenza vaccine tomorrow.

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Are You Indifferent to Independent Practice Issues?

I attended a seminar last month where nurse practitioner 'independence' was a core topics of conversation. During a break one of my former NP program classmates and I hit the local taco shop for a quick lunch. Sitting at the table over heaping bowls of chips and guac, she casually dipped a chip and asked "Do you really care about all this independent practice stuff?". "I really don't", she admitted.

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How Do You Deal With a Bad Clinical Placement?

I quickly became frustrated with one of my first nurse practitioner program clinical placements. Working alongside a physician in his solo, small town family practice clinic seemed like the ideal place to learn. But, then, I realized he accepted nurse practitioner students as a way to get more help running his clinic- and I don't mean when it came to diagnosing and treating patients.

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Medical Week in Review 10.17.14

Phew! It's been a whirlwind of a week here at MidlevelU. From Nashville to Washington, D.C. and New York City, I've been traveling the East Coast to talk Ebola. How has your clinic or hospital been preparing for the possibility of a case of the virus? Or, have they been preparing at all? Health news has been quite heavy the past few days. So, today on the blog let's keep it light. Ease into your weekend by checking out a few of this week's other medical news tidbits.

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An Inside Look Into Life as an Army Nurse

Have you ever wanted to take your career to the limit? Or, at least try something totally new? As a nurse practitioner, I've heard of nurses working in the military or NPs stationed overseas through the U.S. Department of State but I've never gotten an up close look into these types of unique career experiences. Until today. 

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Lessons in Living and Dying from London

This past week I traveled to London to visit friends. From dining on traditional British fare to attending the theater to view a satire mocking the royal family, I took in the sights, sounds, and yes, dreary days, of England. On one sightseeing afternoon, my husband and I, along with our friends, stumbled in to the British Museum to escape the rainy afternoon and were pleasantly surprised at the landmark's offerings.

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Behind the Scenes With a Medical Billing and Coding Expert

If you are like most nurse practitioners, like it or not, you deal with medical billing and coding on a daily basis. You jump through insurance companies' hoops to get MRIs approved and make a case for the medical need of new, branded drugs. We begrudgingly fill out the necessary paperwork to get our patients the treatments they need, wishing there was a better way.

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