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In her first blog, Carol Park gives us insight into her role as a Nurse Practitioner in a GP surgery.
3rd November 2017
Written by Carol Park
I work as part of the Urgent Care Team in my GP Practice, comprising 3 long shifts and two short shifts; full time hours but with free weekends and 2 afternoons to commit to my out of work hobbies.
My day is never pre-booked, so I never know what it'll entail. I thrive on the different day-to-day challenges.
My remit is to see patients with urgent care needs, which vary from minor upper respiratory tract infections and infected ingrown toenails, to the patient who is struggling with chronic obstructive airways.
Last month, the back to school brigade were presenting with nasty viral throat infections, fever and feeling washed out. This is a proving time again for parents to be at home with their probably less noisy but equally demanding child.
These viruses can fill a morning surgery with each parent worried about their own child, and it is so important to keep a fresh look at each individual to avoid missing the unusual presentation of a more serious condition.
An essential cup of tea mid-morning with colleagues allows us all to re-focus.
I attended a local presentation recently where they highlighted a phrase which has stuck in my mind, “No medication without education”. I think it’s so important to keep this in mind when offering or avoiding medication.
Our patients are at the centre of our consultations, and need to be aware of risks and benefits and the evidence which sits behind the care we offer. Education is the key to improved self-management, and is something I have been advocating with my minor illness student.
We look at assessment structure, explore differential diagnoses and treatment solutions for all the patients who book in. I watch with a mentor’s pride as my student grows in competence and confidence.
My door knocks and the Duty GP asks for assistance with a child in respiratory distress. Whilst the GP calls for an ambulance I record his observations, noting the tracheal tug, and rib recession before hearing widespread wheeze over both lungs. We start a nebuliser to improve his air entry, and try to keep mum calm as we watch for improvement.
He responds well, but still has residual wheeze as our ambulance colleagues transfer him to the Paediatric Unit.
Deep breath before calling the next patient in.
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