Specialty nurses at multiple levels and physicians team up to care for patients
"'Some people don't understand – they think going to a nurse practitioner isn't the same as seeing a doctor, but it is the same,' Alex Molina, MD explains. 'They are not getting inferior or less care, they are getting the same quality care.'
'Practitioners really function as primary care providers,' Molina says. Practitioners who work closely with physicians like the Molinas with Davison, are able to consult constantly and seek one another's input when necessary.
Both the doctors, nurse practitioners, specialty nurses and LPNs thrive in the circle with the client at the center: 'In theory, there should always be a backup for the NP, in case there are questions," Krista Molina says, adding that the staff enjoys 'open communication.''
The true benefits emerge with good patient outcomes and that, as Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner Sandra Kurpela says, 'It's very rewarding, because I get to see them at their sickest and then improve and go on to lead a very normal life after their surgery.' Kurpela works for Franciscan Alliance in open heart with Dr. Hodakowski and 'a wonderful group of individuals,' including a pharmacist, another nurse and a dietician.
James Callaghan, MD, Franciscan St. Anthony Health president, believes the physician-nurse practitioner collaboration is invaluable.
'Primary care access is important, because the primary care doc usually is the overall manager of a patient's health, along with the patient, of course. Having improved access and more than one provider who knows you increases access and continuity of care. We are fortunate to have a number of primary care physician-nurse teams who work well in a team dynamic for the improvement of our patients' health.'"