Physician Assistants are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of a healthcare team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and x rays, and make diagnoses. They also treat minor injuries. PA-Cs record progress notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy. Physician assistants also may prescribe certain medications.
Physician assistants work under the supervision of a physician. The PA-C consults with the physician who reviews all notes, lab and other aspects of the patient’s treatment, as well as creates the treatment plan. The physician is the provider in charge of the patient’s care.
Nurse practitioners (N.P.s) are licensed independent, advance practice nurses who have completed a formal educational program beyond that of the registered nurse. Nurse practitioners are regulated by the state board of nursing.
Nurse practitioners make independent and collaborative decisions about the health care needs of individuals, families and groups across the lifespan. According to their specialty, they provide nursing and medical services to individuals. In addition to diagnosing and managing acute, episodic and chronic illness, nurse practitioners’ emphasis health promotion and disease prevention. Services include, but are not limited to, ordering, conducting, supervising and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests, and prescription of pharmacologic agents and non-pharmacologic therapies. Besides clinical care, nurse practitioners focus on health promotion, disease prevention and counseling.
Nurse practitioners work in collaboration with physicians and other health care professionals to provide comprehensive care. Lakeside physicians are active participants in all aspects of their patients’ care and treatment plans.