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    APRNs, PAs can help achieve the ideal practice setting

    Amy Hull, MSN, WHNP-BC, president-elect of the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates, is assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

     

    In her article, “Is your ideal practice fit within reach?,” Urology Times writer Lisette Hilton offers a very nice discussion of the possible practice options that urologists may consider. Change in health care has demanded modifications in the way many physicians choose to practice medicine and offer services to their patients. Adapting to change has meant the addition of new services, the creation of niche service lines, or the addition of new partners who have supplementary skill sets to draw business.

    With the U.S. health care system’s rapid change, Hilton’s article notes there has been a significant shift from the dominance of the private-practice urologist, with up to 40% of practicing urologists choosing to work for an employer such as an academic institution or hospital system. Additionally, as the complexities and difficulties of single-physician practices have grown, the number of physicians “going it alone” dropped to an all-time low of 10% in 2016.

    The health care system is going to continue to grow and evolve and it would be interesting to see Hilton write a follow-up article regarding physician collaboration with advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physician assistants (PAs). Utilization of these professionals’ skills and experience may enable the urology provider to realize his/her ideal practice, for such colleagues may enable greater flexibility within the practice setting. Patient care can continue in the office while the urologist is in the OR; APRNs and PAs can serve as a conduit for readying patients for surgery, and these providers can evaluate for potential complications post-surgery, all excellent facets of care that may achieve the ideal practice setting.

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