Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What is a Primary Care Nurse?

This may be a post that changes over time because I feel like this role varies from clinic and organization. I work in a federally qualified health center with uninsured patients (mostly immigrants at this point that don't qualify for the county health plan) and Medi-Cal mostly. We do get some private insurance like BlueShield or Blue Cross but not too many. I work with adult, prenatal, and pediatric providers. Our team also has a therapist, nutritionist, health educator, and medical assistants. I would say that I do mostly phone and walk-in triage, patient education, patient care and care coordination.

Probably what most of you are interested in are the clinical skills:

  • Vitals
    • Blood Pressure
    • Heart Rate
    • O2 Sat
    • Temperature
    • Weight
    • Depression Screening
    • Alcohol Screening
    • Allergy Screening
    • Birth Control Method
  • Urine tests for:
    • UTI
    • pregnancy
    • drug testing
  • Wound Care
    • Dressing Changes
  • Blood Draws
  • Lots of injections!
    • Depo-birth control
    • Vaccinations
    • PPD Tuberculin Skin Placements
    • Pain medication given in clinic, ordered by the physician
    • Vitamin injections given in clinic
Patient Education:
  • Birth Control/Pregnancy Prevention
  • Fertility
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypertension reduction
  • Cholesterol reduction
  • Diabetes sugar/carb reduction
  • Obesity/ Weight loss
  • Medication instruction
  • Insulin Teaching
  • Tobacco Cessation/Harm Reduction
Phone/Walk-In Triage:
  • Nursing Focused Assessment
  • OTC Medication Recommendation
  • Home Care Advice
  • Co-Visits with provider
Care Coordination:
  • Prior Authorizations
  • Medication Refills
  • Medication Reconciliation
  • Durable Medical Equipment ordering
  • Case Management
  • Follow-Up on Referrals
  • Disability Forms
  • School/Work Forms
Then there is the other administrative stuff that includes reports, schedules, supervision of staff, timecards, facilities maintenance, meetings, meetings with reps, and clinical projects.

Currently we have some projects to increase Pap Smear, Mammograms, ColoRectal Cancer screenings (CRC aka FIT test). Today our department/clinic got recognized for having the highest rates of CRC for our organization! We have great adult MAs. I'll probably update this regularly as I think of what more I do, which seems to never end and on the other hand I'm learning alot!

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