In this age of vanishing doctors and nurses, it’s like a war of the dinosaurs about who’s going extinct first. The current moves to expand scope of practice for nurse practitioners have drawn criticism from the American Medical Association, which has in turn drawn ire from the nurses.
The AMA cites the difference between a physician’s training and nurse practitioner training as the main reason for its reservations about expanding the scope of practice of nurse practitioners.
The scope of practice for nurse practitioners is based on state legislation, and several doctor-starved states are naturally looking at nurse practitioners as logical alternatives in various areas.
The problems start here:
The mature, genteel, considered response has been to fight tooth and nail over various definitions of who does what.
In California, physicians are suing to ensure nurse anesthetists are under supervision of doctors. This will do wonders for the health of lawyers, journalists and others, but not a lot for healthy relationships in the profession or with patients.
With all due respect to the AMA, there are a few physical realities which are going to cause havoc if some working options aren’t created, and soon:
There are no choices in this situation. The ultimate result, whatever the verbiage, will have to be “what works.” Everybody’s getting pushed over the edge somewhere, and what’s needed is a clearly understood practical working methodology so people can get on with treating patients. Guessing who’s supposed to be doing what will kill as many patients as any other indecision. It may even be as dangerous to human health as the billing process.