Your Mind Is Not a Microwave

So don't treat your clinical education like it is one

I see a number of posts from nurse practitioners requesting quick fixes. Inquiries like "I accepted a new position in neurology - do you know of any quick brush-up courses?" and "I'm trying to learn medical Spanish - does anyone know of any conferences to attend?". While conferences and other short learning experiences certainly have merit, mastering the various aspects of clinical practice takes much more time and involvement than a one-week continuing education bootcamp. 

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The Lucky 7: Classes of Meds for Pain Management

Pain management is basically a dirty word among nurse practitioners and physician assistants today. We shun patients on long-term pain medications and grow weary of requests for "that medicine that I had that one time - it starts with a 'D'...". The opioid problem and our resulting hesitancy to prescribe pain medications has become so bad that a patient comes to see us with something like an acute femur fracture and we pause before prescribing ten tablets of Percocet upon discharge from the hospital. 

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How to Finagle More Vacation Time this Summer

I tend to focus on the positives of my job working as an nurse practitioner. But, there are definitely some downsides (gasp!). In a patient facing role, for example, you've got to be present to get the job done. There's not much opportunity to work remotely, squeezing in a few hours of work on the plane on the way to a summer getaway, like some of my non-healthcare friends. Strategizing about the best way to use your vacation time can be soul-sucking. Once you've delegated a few days to see family, and a few to attend an obligatory wedding or two, there aren't many left for just plain fun. So, what's an NP to do when they're feeling the crunch of too little vacation time?

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5 Must-Read Pharmacy Blogs for NPs & PAs

The nerd in me really loves pharmacology. The subject pairs my clinical career with my undergrad studies in biology and chemistry. It hits home with my academic and professional interests. Not to mention, as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, we prescribe a lot of medications. Pharmacology is complex leaving us with questions about what and how to prescribe. As part of this month's series on prescribing for pain, I thought it would be a good idea to share some resources that relate to prescribing in general. 

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Do You Need More Support in Your NP Job?

Transitioning from your nurse practitioner program to working as a NP isn't easy. In fact, the first few years of practice as a nurse practitioner aren't easy. They can be quite overwhelming. In my first year of practice, I recall weekends and evenings spent charting. I arrived at work early everyday to review lab and other diagnostic test results. And, mostly, I was completely overwhelmed by my patient care responsibilities. Not to mention, it was difficult to find the help and support I desperately craved. Do you feel similarly?

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