NP Week: A Strong Voice in Retail Health

In honor of NP Week, Contemporary Clinic spoke with nurse practitioner and Editorial Board member Karen Brautigam, FNP, Clinical Educator at Healthcare Clinics at Walgreens.

In honor of NP Week (November 8-14, 2015),Contemporary Clinicspoke with nurse practitioner (NP) and Editorial Board member Karen Brautigam, FNP, Clinical Educator at Healthcare Clinics at Walgreens.

1. Why did you decide to become an NP?

The application of scientific evidence in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan/evaluation within the scope of my RN practice was always fascinating. Advanced practice provides the opportunity to apply additional skills to provide health care in an extended dimension.

For me, it’s all about using advanced practice skills for wellness promotion, illness prevention, and care for a diverse patient population with a variety of health care needs. I love the challenge!

2. Why have you chosen to work in a retail clinic?

Applying evidence-based practice in a model committed to accessibility, convenience, and affordability appealed to me. Working within a model where NPs have a strong voice has kept me working in retail health.

3. What are some challenges that you face as an NP working in retail health?

NPs in retail health face many of the same challenges as primary care providers. Offering health care services within a convenient, accessible delivery model challenges providers to be competent and efficient.

Applying evidence-based, efficacious care that is understood and accepted by the patient can only be achieved with sincere dialogue in the exam room. One of the most recent challenges is ICD 10, which inevitably ties to successful reimbursement.

Retail health affords the opportunity for NP autonomy within a supportive, collaborative setting. The proximity of pharmacist resources encourages consultation to prescribe treatment customized to specific patient needs. Partnering with community resources to prevent fragmented care is essential to best use of resources.

4.How can retail-based NPs overcome these challenges?

Staying up-to-date with practice evidence is crucial. The commitment to being a lifelong student is absolutely essential.

Knowing how to access resources within the field and community allows a more holistic approach to resolving health care issues. The use of evidence-based practice, interview/motivational skills, and partnering resources are keys to a successful and satisfying practice for the patient, the provider, and the community.

5. What are your hopes for the future of retail health?

Retail health continues to expand and provide innovative health care delivery. Continuing to partner within the community to cover health care gaps, as well as technological resources that promote evidential practice and efficiency, will benefit the patient, the provider, and the community.

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