These days, a visit to your doctor’s office often means seeing an advanced practitioner (AP). Advanced practitioners are playing an increasingly important role in providing patient care at Reliant and other healthcare organizations. Advanced practitioners, such as physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), have become crucial in meeting the growing needs of patients. Advanced practitioners work in all aspects of healthcare, including primary care and specialty departments.
At Reliant, our advanced practitioners on our care teams are highly trained. They have, at minimum, a master’s level degree in their chosen field, are board-certified, and undergo continuing education to maintain their licensure. Just like physicians, some advanced practitioners also receive training in specialized programs after graduation called residencies.
Advanced practitioners can:
- Diagnosis and treat disease
- Prescribe medicine
- Order and evaluate diagnostic tests
- Provide preventative care
- Counsel patients
- Make referrals and provide overall care coordination
At Reliant Medical Group, some advanced practitioners care for their own group of patients and others partner with physicians in caring for their patients. “For me, being an advanced practitioner has been a really rewarding experience. I started working in healthcare as a nurse, but I wanted to develop more long-term relationships and be more involved in my patient’s health. For this reason, I went back to school and completed my Master of Science as a Family Nurse Practitioner,” remarked Cheri Klinghard, a nurse practitioner in Reliant’s Internal Medicine department in Auburn. “What I like best about my role as an NP is that I get to work with a great group of physicians, nurses, medical assistants and others who really care about patients and are supportive of my role.”
So rest assured, when you visit with an advanced practitioner at Reliant, you are receiving top-notch care by a highly trained medical professional who has been carefully integrated into your healthcare team.