Advanced Practice Providers, or APPs, are medical providers (Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants) who are trained and educated similarly to physicians. They work in all areas of the hospital and patients can be treated by an APP in the emergency room, operating room or during routine visits. All APPs are supervised by a doctor. APPs can prescribe medications and order tests for all procedures.
APPs are trusted medical professionals who work hand-in-hand with physicians to create a seamless environment of care. With the addition of APPs, there are more appointments available for patients and care is often more cost-effective for patients. Research has shown that patients are just as satisfied receiving care from Advanced Practice Providers as they are from a physician.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) who is prepared, through a higher level of education and clinical training, to provide a wide range of preventive and acute health care services to patients. NPs complete graduate-level education that leads to a master’s or, even doctoral degree. NPs provide complete physical examinations; diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic issues; read and communicate lab results and imaging studies; prescribe and manage medications and other therapies; offer teaching and supportive counseling and refer patients to other health professionals as needed. An NP’s practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.
A Physician Assistant (PA) is a health care licensed professional, or in the case of one employed by the federal government, credentialed, to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses and additional problems, order and interpret lab tests, counsel patients on preventive health care, assist physicians in surgery, and write prescriptions. Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA’s practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.
Autumn Groscost, a physician assistant with St. Clair Medical Group Plastic Surgery explains the differences and similarities between a PA and an MD. Learn more about her educational background, collaboration with physicians and inspiration to pursue this career path.