Why am I seeing a nurse practitioner and not a physician?

We have had a few parents curious about the situation of seeing a “nurse”. A nurse practitioner is NOT just a nurse.  A nurse practitioner has gone through additional training beyond just nursing.   After a physician goes through medical school, he or she can practice medicine but they have not had any formal training in a specific field such as pediatrics, cardiology, surgery, dermatology, etc.  It takes additional training of a residency and a fellowship for some medical fields, but not pediatrics. Pediatrics requires a physician to complete medical school and a residency.

For nurse practitioners, after becoming a nurse, they then go through a clinical program. He or she must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program, and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation.  Didactic and clinical courses prepare nurses with specialized knowledge and clinical competency to practice in primary care, acute care and long-term health care settings. To be recognized as expert health care providers and ensure the highest quality of care, NPs undergo rigorous national certification, periodic peer review, clinical outcome evaluations, and adhere to a code for ethical practices. Self-directed continued learning and professional development is also essential to maintaining clinical competency.

Additionally to promote quality health care and improve clinical outcomes, Nurse Practitioners lead and participate in both professional and lay health care forums, conduct research and apply findings to clinical practice. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who provide care to patients throughout the lifespan, from premature newborns to the elderly.  They perform comprehensive and focused physical examinations, diagnose and treat common acute illnesses and injuries, provide immunizations, manage high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and other chronic health problems, order and interpret diagnostic tests such as X-rays and EKGs, as well as laboratory tests, prescribe medications and therapies, perform procedures, and educate and counsel patients and their families regarding healthy lifestyles and health care options.

Our nurse practitioners have experience ranging from 2-18 years from their initial training.  Our nurse practitioners are better trained than most physicians in the metroplex regarding integrative holistic care for pediatrics.  If there are any concerns as a parent or even when it is from our nurse practitioners, themselves, they will seek further guidance from Randy Naidoo M.D. or Rahima Afroza M.D.

Of note, there are unique instances where the nurse practitioners may have more experience in a specific field of integrative care that even the physician may not be as comfortable due to not seeing that condition as frequently.

Our nurse practitioners manage and care for all of our allergy related patients, most of our dermatology issues, all general acute pediatric issues ranging from coughs and colds, gastrointestinal complaints, endocrine related matters, and much much more.

The main aspect that Dr. Naidoo manages more than anything else is the issues with behavior.  And as our nurse practitioners continue to care for more and more behavioral issues, they are learning the biomedical approach to addressing behavior.  Our office is going to manage behavioral and developmental concerns outside of just the traditional approach of counselors, physical, occupational, or speech therapists and even psychologists.

Again this is where our nurse practitioners will have a completely different way of caring for and managing this type of behavioral child compared to all other pediatricians in the metroplex.

If you as a parent have any concerns about seeing a nurse practitioner, that should be the least of your concerns.  If you were given a word of mouth recommendation about our practice, ask the person giving you a referral if they have seen a nurse practitioner. Some may say they have enjoyed the experience even more than with the physician. We have a great staff all the way from the front to the back, and what makes a pediatric office effective is having a proper workflow, good communication, and great personalities.  We have it all here at SHINE. The success of our practice is through proper training, support, and growth of the entire staff. The maturation of our team means we can support more and more children that need this type of care.