In recent years, more and more women have been switching their routine women’s health care from a traditional obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) to a nurse practitioner (NP). But what exactly is an NP? A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse, meaning he or she has more authority when it comes to treating patients, and they are not required to work under the supervision of a doctor in states with “full practice authority”, such as Colorado. As part of their authority and ability to work unsupervised, NPs are often able to better focus on their patients individual needs, recommend lifestyle changes, offer counseling on disease prevention and health maintenance and assess prescription needs. While an OB-GYN is a doctor who specializes in female reproductive health, pregnancy, and childbirth, an NP is a highly trained nurse with expertise in not only women’s health, but also general practice.
So why are patients choosing to see an NP instead of a traditional OB-GYN? One of the main reasons is that an NP can function as both a women’s health specialist, as well as a general practitioner. An OB-GYN will usually require their patients see a primary care physician in addition to being under their care. Another important reason patients are choosing NPs is their more holistic approach to health. A holistic approach to health involves treating the patient’s needs beyond that of just their physical body or ailments; it involves assessing all aspects of a patient, including their emotional health, constitutional tendencies, as well as their health and personal history. Utilizing this non-traditional approach offers many benefits that goes well beyond pure symptom relief. It aims to put the body back into balance from its root, leading to long-term health, well-being and improved quality of life. Lastly, NPs often have higher satisfaction rates, based on their tendency to follow up with patients (personally) and address their questions and concerns.
Are you due for your annual Well Women’s Visit? Need a prescription refill? Make an appointment with our amazing women’s health nurse practitioner, Frances Rhodes. Frani received her nursing degree from the University of Colorado in 2010. Her clinical experience ranges from community health to uro-gynecology — her greatest passion has been helping women throughout her career in healthcare. She enjoys all aspect of women’s health and gynecology, with a focus on prevention and helping women live their best life. Call us today to schedule your appointment!