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A doctor, PA or a nurse practitioner?

Physician assistants (PAs) are medical providers licensed to prescribe medications, diagnose and treat illness and disease. They work in physician offices, hospitals and clinics in collaboration with a licensed physician. They have completed advanced education and extensive clinical training. Working as part of your integrated medical team, PAs are critical to increasing access to care by expanding the capacity of physician practices across the country.

A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with advanced academic and clinical education and experience in care of the sick and in diagnosis, treatment and management of common and chronic illnesses. In today’s world of care delivery, NPs have become an essential part of the care team, both in the physician’s office and in the hospital. They can diagnose and treat medical conditions, administer vaccinations and prescribe medications. NPs offer a holistic and wellness orientation that emphasizes health education, risk identification and reduction, and preventive care through lifestyle modification.

In Georgia, nurse practitioners work under the supervision of a “delegating physician.” A written document, the “nurse protocol,” provides physician authority for the NP to perform medical acts and also includes the physician’s consent to be available for immediate consultation, if necessary. Delegating physicians also observe the NP onsite quarterly and conduct reviews of medical records of patients receiving care by the NP.

Because of growing time demands on physicians and the shortage of doctors in numerous specialties, both PAs and NPs provide a high quality, skilled and practical option for many of your health care needs.



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