Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nurse Practitioner Preceptors - Plan Ahead

I would not mind being a preceptor for an NP student sometime in the future, and when I feel comfortable with my own skills and time management, but that will be a year or two. These days I regularly see postings of students looking for nurse practitioner preceptors. I have even received emails via my LinkedIn profile asking me to be a preceptor. I was lucky in that my school matched us with preceptors, but here is the problem. Many schools and online degree programs do match you with a preceptor, and after you start do not give a damn that you cannot find a preceptor. They have your money and you are on your own to find preceptors. 

As a NP students you will need preceptors, and a minimum number of clinical hours to get board certified. National standards also require your preceptors to be certified, practicing and pass a screening process; this avoids fraud on the part of the school and by the student.

The thing is there are not enough preceptors for all the students out there.  Nurse practitioner I have talked to do not precept for many reasons and it has to do with the business of healthcare. Most companies give NPs a set block of time to see a set number of patients. In primary care that is usually 15-20 minutes to see the patient, diagnose, treat and chart, and the urgent care visits are as fast as possible. Your preceptor then needs to double check everything the student does, because it is their license in jeopardy every time the student sees one of their patients. I'm sure but probably some large and small companies also do not want the liability of a student.  

If you Google and look around at the comments about finding preceptors, I think the best thing you can do is to be proactive and line up your preceptors before starting a program, or go into one that matches you with preceptors. Pursue your dreams but plan ahead.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Concentra the fast food model of health care

I think I have found the perfect example of what happens when you combine a Fast Food business plan with healthcare, it is called Concentra. Concentra is owned by Humana, which as most people know is a for profit managed care and health insurance company. They are in the process of rapidly expanding nation wide, kind of like Subway with one in every strip mall. When I visited two of their clinics recently it was evident by the take a number, sit by the plastic plant, and one of our employees who all dress in the same uniform will help you shortly.  Healthcare has been going down this quicker, cheaper and dehumanizing path for a while.  

There are large companies that operate similar services like United Heath who do a good job of not turning  people into a commodity and hopefully there will be a rebellion against this type of plastic drive-thru model of care. What happened to the real family physician?