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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Should You Recommend OTC Cough and Cold Meds to Kids?

I've always been slightly confused about exactly which over the counter cough and cold medications I should recommend to my patients. There are just so many products on the market. Which ones actually work? Not to mention, it seems like the guidelines for products marketed to patients, especially in pediatrics, are ever-changing. So, what's a nurse practitioner to do?

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Crash Course in Cardiac Devices

Have you ever been in the room when a patient's defibrillator fires?  It's pretty crazy.  The scene of a patient lying on a stretcher being delivered repetitive shocks by an implanted cardiac device is one worthy of the dramatic ER stereotype.  Most scenarios in the emergency department are not as exciting as you would think, but witnessing an ICD shock is one that will give you the shivers. 

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Choosing an Otoscope: A How To Guide

When I was a nurse practitioner student, purchasing an otoscope came highly recommended. As an FNP student, years upon years of examining ears were in my future. An otoscope purchase was necessary, according to my clinical instructors at least. So, I hit the internet comparing costs and products with the intention of finding the best otoscope a broke nurse practitioner student could afford. 

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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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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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Let's Talk About Urine! Microalbuminuria Q&A

I recently gave a presentation on chronic kidney disease to a group of NPs and PAs in our latest Midlevels for the Medically Underserved cohort. They asked a number of excellent questions on the topic which led to some discussion about screening for proteinuria. It seems there's a need to clear up some confusion around microalbuminuria. So, today, let's get back to primary care basics with some Q&A on the topic. 

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Understanding Opioid Strengths and Other Prescribing Pearls

Whether or not you prescribe opioids, a lot of your patients are taking them. So, it's important for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to get familiar with how they work to guide your treatment and prescribing plans. Today, let's talk opioid strengths. When we talk about the 'strength' of opioid medications, there are two aspects to consider. First, we look at the drug potency. Second, we can look at the drug's duration of action. For the purposes of today's post, we will discuss potency. 

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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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