Life as a Nurse Practitioner

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“Nurse Practitioner” Occupational Outlook Handbook

What is a Nurse Practitioner?: A Nurse Practitioner’s job is very similar to that of a typical physician. The Occupational Outlook Handbook defines a Nurse Practitioner as someone who “coordinates patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare”. To put it simply, a Nurse Practitioner can work in an office and investigate patient information and has the ability to see the patients on hand and provide medical care and diagnosis. However, this practice can vary from state to state.

The Field of Nursing Practice: Overall, the median annual pay for Nurse Practitioners is about $102, 670 and the median hourly pay is $49.36. According to the Official Social Security Website, the national average wage in 2014 was approximately $46,481. The average annual wage for a Nurse Practitioner is more than twice as much as the national average wage in 2014. Because a Nurse Practitioner is similar to a typical physician, this field is growing tremendously. The Occupational Outlook Handbook presents the job outlook for Nurse Practitioners, which is the projected percent change in employment from 2014 to 2024. Now the average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent, but for the Nursing Practice field, it is 31 percent. This proves that the field is growing and becoming more popular. The growth is primarily due to the effects of healthcare legislation as well as the demands for healthcare services.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner: To become a Nurse Practitioner, the typical entry-level education is a Master degree. To receive your Master in Nursing Practice, it is best to join a Nursing program and obtain you Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN. You can also receive your Master degree with a Bachelor in Science including Biology or Psychology. Nurse Practitioners must be licensed in their state and must pass a national certification exam. This is so that the Practitioner is qualified for their field. In order for me to become a Nurse practitioner, I must first graduate with my BSN and then work on receiving my Master in Nursing Practice. After receiving my Master degree, I must then become certified in order to apply for Nurse Practitioner jobs.

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Discovering Interviews

What is an interview? Whether it be applying for jobs or researching for an assignment, interviews are usually involved. What an interview consists of is a series of questions that are usually presented in a face-to-face interaction or even an online encounter to collect information for a specific purpose.

The Interviewee’s Perspective: While being interviewed by my classmate, Taylor Webster, I realized how nerve wracking being interviewed was. The reason for this is associated with the fact that I wasn’t really sure of the questions that were going to be asked so I wasn’t fully prepared to give in-depth answers. Other than this, it was a great experience and it helped me think more deeply on the questions Taylor asked me during the interview. It also gave me a chance to see the interviewee’s perspective and discover ways to improving  my interviewing skills. By being interviewed by my classmate, I discovered that asking questions that are more broad rather than specific allowed me to talk more and provide more information for the interviewer. This will be very helpful for me when I interview a professional in my field of study.

The Interviewer’s Perspective: When preparing to interview my classmate, Taylor, I found it difficult to think of open-ended questions that would allow me to collect quality information. It took me approximately ten minutes just to think of five interview questions for my classmate. After I thought of some questions, I asked them during the interview and made sure that a recording device was used during the entire interview. This allowed me to collect the information I needed, that way I was able to go back and listen to the interview and transcribe the information I needed. This wasn’t too difficult; however, I did not collect as much information as I expected to, which was probably due to the fact that the questions I asked throughout the interview were too specific rather than being general and broad. This made me realize what I needed to do when it came to conducting an interview for the Key Assignment 2, which is to put more thought in the questions I ask and to put myself in the shoes of the interviewee when coming up with questions. In doing this,  I am capable of collecting plenty of information in the interview for my assignment.

All in all, interviewing someone can be complicated and can take a lot of practice. A great way to strengthen your interviewing skills is to put yourself in a situation in which you are interviewed, that way you understand how someone may like to be interviewed.

Patient Confidentiality

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“Jeremy and his medical staff posing while confidential patient details were once visible” Photo provided by Associated Newspapers Ltd

The privacy of a patients’ medical information is very important and should be ensured at all times. Anyone’s medical information has the possibility of being released without the consent of the patient. In fact, patients’ medical records have been released on multiple occasions. This puts the patients at risk of their protected health information, or PHI, being used or disclosed by covered entities, or health care providers who transmit the medical information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, was enforced in 1996 by federal legislation in order to protect all health information and prevent the release of private patient medical information.

The Indiana State Department of Health defines the HIPAA laws as health information dealing with two sets of regulations; the Privacy Rule, which deals with the protection of patient medical records and other personal information, and the Security Rule, which requires security procedures that medical providers must implement to insure confidentiality of electronic health information. HIPAA applies to all health care-related organizations, or covered entities including heath plans, providers, health care clearinghouses, and federal Medicare and State Medicade programs. The rights that an individual has under the HIPAA laws include access to information, amend information, accounting and disclosures, and notice of privacy practices. These rules insure the privacy of medical information for patients; however, they have been broken in the past and have brought up controversy in the health field.

Patients’ information has been released on multiple occasions, whether is be intentionally or unintentionally. In one instance, Jeremy Hunt, a medical professional, accidentally breached patient confidentiality by presenting patient medical records on social media. According to the HIPAA Privacy Rule, this violates the patient’s confidentiality. The image was soon edited and the patient’s medical information was hidden; however, Hunt was still guilty of breaching patient confidentiality and almost lost his job. Lukily, Hunt did not face any charges. Some of the consequences for breaching patient confidentiality unintentionally that Hunt could’ve faced include a minimum fine of $100 per violation, with an annual maximum of $25,000 for repeat violations.

Not only did Hunt violate the HIPAA laws of breaching patient information, he violated the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements as a whole. This code influences “the promise that nurses are doing their best to provide care for their patients and their communities”. The code ensures that each health care providers in the Nursing profession support one another in the process so that ethical and professional obligations may be fulfilled. Now the HIPAA laws accommodate with the Code of Ethics in that “fulfilling ethical and professional obligations” requires keeping patient medical information secure.

Even if accidental, for example posting private information on social media just as Jeremy Hunt did, releasing patient health information is in violation of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and is, in fact, illegal. This is why you should always be aware of what information you are handling, especially if you are in or planing on joining the medical field, that way you can avoid breaching patient confidentiality and facing the consequences.

 

Keys to an Interesting Web Page

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“Creative Commons” Flickr

Web pages are not as easy to write as they look: Writing a web page can be a lot of fun,but it also takes plenty of skill and a lot of practice. Many people struggle with writing web pages that are appealing to the reader and this can be frustrating. Michael Agger and his article on how we read online provides different strategies for creating a successful web page, such as including visual eye catchers, explanatory titles and subheadings, and appropriate and original content in your web page. These tips are great for encouraging web page writers to create a successful article that is enjoyable for the audience and readers.

A Title that POPS!

The title of your web page or the subtitle in your web page can tell the reader a lot about what you are writing. Also, using a creative title can really grab the reader’s attention and interest in reading your web page. Original content is also very important in creating a well written and interesting web page. Using information from another source can make your web page more reliable and credible; however, relying too much on other sources can make your web page less interesting and repetitive. So be creative and add plenty of originality to your articles.

Attractiveness is Key

If you really want to create an appealing web page that catches the reader’s attention and makes them want to continuing reading your internet article, it is important to add the following visuals:

  • Appropriate images
  • Plenty of blank Space
  • Bulleted lists
  • Occasional use of bold

According to John Lannon and Laura Gurak (2014), using the right tools and technologies like the ones discussed previously are essential in creating a web page that the reader will enjoy. I hope that you found these tips as useful as I did and use them when you create a web page.

 

References

Lannon, J. M., & Gurak, L. J. (2014). Technical communication (13th ed.). Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.