This course has helped me understand that currently, nurse practitioners in an adult-gerontology primary care are in demand and more of them are needed to provide comprehensive healthcare for adults. Nurse practitioners in an adult-gerontology primary healthcare usually practice in many different institutions and therefore, have many options in choosing their career. After this course, I feel that I can apply my skills in practice and choose any setting I like beginning with student healthcare ending with faith healthcare center. This course has also helped me understand that being a nurse practitioner in an adult-gerontology primary care is challenging but, at the same time, rewarding.
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This course provides comprehensive education for primary care nurse practitioners in an adult-gerontology which is based on the understanding of the theories of health sciences and clinical preparation that forms skills, judgment, and knowledge considered necessary in providing primary care management, promoting health, and preventing diseases in adolescents, adults, and geriatric people (Cutugno, 2015).
Thus, in general, the practice of primary care nurse practitioners in an adult-gerontology is based on the independent management of adult healthcare. Particularly, it focuses on primary healthcare, disease prevention, risk reduction, and health promotion (Thanavaro & Moore, 2016). Nurse practitioners have multiple responsibilities that include providing physical examinations, diagnosing and treating chronic and acute problems, interpreting laboratory results, prescribing medications and therapies, providing supportive counseling and health teaching focusing primarily on disease prevention, and referring patients to other healthcare professionals if needed (Buttaro, Trybulski, Polgar-Bailey, & Sandberg-Cook, 2016).
This course has also shown me that primary care nurse practitioners in an adult-gerontology can choose from a variety of options regarding the place of their practice including correctional institutes, home-based care, hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices, and so on. Nurse practitioners deal with both chronic and acute illnesses. When managing the former, they often coordinate care provided by physicians, while when working in acute care settings, they provide healthcare for hospitalized patients collaborating with physicians and other healthcare professionals (Kennedy-Malone, Fletcher, & Martin-Plank, 2014).
This course’s core competencies helped me understand the specific character and the main concepts of this profession and how to be a competent primary care nurse practitioner in an adult-gerontology. These competencies include but not limited to assessing health status, diagnosing health status, providing health protection, health promotion, treatment, and disease prevention, creating a plan of care, and implementing treatment (Payne, Farrell, & Heye, 2016). Moreover, nurse practitioners must ensure a collaborative, collegial, and professional approach to care, serve as a coach and teacher to patients, and commit to advancing the profession (Cash & Glass, 2015). Additionally, nurse practitioners must assist patients in negotiating and managing the healthcare delivery system, monitor and ensure high-quality healthcare practice, and the last but not the least, demonstrate cultural competence (Thompson et al., 2014).
As far as the process of education throughout this course is concerned, it began with a solid foundation in and the main focus on primary care. During this ten-week course, I sent abstracts for eighteen cases, conducted one presentation about Herpes Zoster, interacted with peers, and submitted one SOAP note every week. This has significantly increased my knowledge and skills in this profession. In my opinion, the curriculum covered the full range of competencies needed for the adult-gerontology primary healthcare complex needs including a particular emphasis on the geriatric patients’ needs. Additionally, in order to put theory and the acquired knowledge into practice, this course includes a comprehensive clinical practice program, which helped develop my skills.
Buttaro, T., Trybulski, J., Polgar-Bailey, P., & Sandberg-Cook, J. (2016). Primary care (5th ed.). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.
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Cash, J. C., & Glass, C. A. (Eds.). (2015). Adult-gerontology practice guidelines. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
Cutugno, C. (2015). Adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialists: The time is now. Geriatric Nursing, 36(3), 232-233.
Kennedy-Malone, L., Fletcher, K. R., & Martin-Plank, L. (2014). Advanced practice nursing in the care of older adults. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Company.
Payne, C., Farrell, K., & Heye, M. L. (2016). Revitalizing learning outcomes for adult gerontology advanced practice programs. Journal of Professional Nursing, 32(6), 494-500.
Thanavaro, J., & Moore, K. S. (2016). Clinical decision making for adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Thompson, H. J., Belza, B., Baker, M., Christianson, P., Doorenbos, A., & Nguyen, H. (2014). Identifying and evaluating electronic learning resources for use in adult-gerontology nurse practitioner education. Journal of Professional Nursing, 30(2), 155-161.