5 ECG Interpretation Courses for Nurse Practitioners

Mastering the art of ECG interpretation is tough. Reading ECGs proficiently is a skill that takes practice and fine tuning over time. Nurse practitioners working in some environments may not see ECGs everyday making it even more difficult to hone these skills. Fortunately for NPs, there are several organizations offering ECG interpretation focused courses and conferences. If your ECG interpretation skills leave room for improvement, check out these continuing medical education courses to get you up to speed. 

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Is Dictation or Typing the Most Efficient Documentation Method?

If there's one thing we can agree on as nurse practitioners, it's that time is a commodity. We're constantly pressured by the clock. Completing documentation can fall by the wayside as we move from patient to patient. I have a strict rule for myself - I must complete a patient's chart before I move on to the next visit. But, even so, I still find myself falling behind and scrambling to identify documentation shortcuts. Many of my coworkers dictate rather than type. Is dictating a better bet for charting efficiency?

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The Rules for Delivering Bad News to Patients

I've talked to some colleagues recently who've been a little down about their roles as nurse practitioners. Working in family practice, they have found themselves in the position of delivering bad or upsetting news to their patients. Cancer diagnoses were fortunately made rather than missed, but letting a patient know they've got a serious, life-altering illness or condition is tough, not to mention, this is not something most of us as NPs learn to do in school. 

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5 Helpful Pocket Orthopedic Guides for Nurse Practitioners

Diagnosing orthopedic symptoms can be tricky. X-rays, for example, don't tell you a lot about tendons and ligaments that are often responsible for joint pain. More advanced testing, like MRI, is costly, and often requires prior authorization from insurance companies leading to a delay in treatment. While there are a number of clinical orthopedic exam maneuvers that indicate the exact type of injury and help lead nurse practitioners to a diagnosis, the specifics of these exam techniques can be difficult to recall on the spot. 

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CYA Charting: When Patients Don't Follow Your Advice

Having worked as a nurse practitioner in the emergency department for more than 10 years, there have been plenty of times patients have chosen not to follow my advice. Whether for financial, work-related or other personal reasons, sometimes patients decide to forgo the advised course of medical treatment and make an alternate decision. 

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5 Warfarin Management Resources for FNPs

After the potential side effects and complications of warfarin were hammered into me in my nurse practitioner program, I was pretty terrified to prescribe the medication. Not to mention, I felt like my NP program spent so much time discussing the complications of warfarin, they forgot to hone in on how to actually manage the medication effectively. Where do you go when you aren't sure what the next steps are to manage an out-of-whack INR correctly?

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Tylenol vs. Ibuprofen: Which is Better for Fever?

Ahh, the age-old dilemma. When it comes to fever reduction, which works better - acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen? I treat a lot of patients in the emergency department for fever-causing illnesses and recommend OTC medications on a daily (or more like hourly!) basis. But, when it comes to the exact stats for these medications, it can be difficult to remember to answer patients' F.A.Q. Which is better for fever reduction - acetaminophen or ibuprofen? And, how long does each medication take to kick in?

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How Can NPs Learn LARC Insertion?

As a nurse practitioner, training to provide more services and procedures gives your career a major boost. Not only do these abilities serve your patients well, they also make you a more marketable provider and provide value in the workplace. In my own nurse practitioner career, I have enjoyed furthering my clinical and procedural skills as this also keeps me relevant, challenged and up to date with the latest in evidence-based practice. 

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The Clinical Hack Link Pack

One of the things I like most about my job as a nurse practitioner is continuing to learn. Given that I am a more experienced NP at this point, it seems that my life in the emergency department has become more routine, with significantly less day to day learning. While it's comfortable to be confident in my skills, and capable of caring for higher acuity patients, I still relish 'aha!' moments. If you're in the market for learning a few new clinical tips, tricks, and pearls, check out the following clinical hack link pack for our favorites. 

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Laceration Repair Round Up: Best Posts for Learning to Suture

Mastering procedures was one of the more difficult parts of life as a new grad nurse practitioner. Procedures take practice. Not to mention, there are additional factors to consider compared with less involved patient interactions. The risk of complications, for example, is much higher with procedures. So, these interventions must be approached with careful consideration. If you could use a brush up on your laceration repair skills, the following blog posts will help. 

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