What is a Physician Extender?
A physician extender is not a physician but a licensed health care provider who performs medical activities typically performed by a physician. The term physician extender is commonly used to identify highly trained health care professionals such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Physician extenders work under the direct supervision of physicians.
What is a Physician Assistant?
OAD Orthopaedics employs certified physician assistants
(PAs) who work under the direct supervision of the practice’s
physicians. These PAs are highly trained licensed health care professionals
with bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees
in physician assistant studies. PAs typically have experienced
thousands of hours of direct patient care experience, must pass a
national certification exam developed by the National
Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners, and similar
to OAD Orthopaedics’ physicians and nurses, are
licensed by the State of Illinois.
As a result of PAs’ intense
clinical medicine, research, and surgical training, PAs
can be found working in all the medical fields and specialties,
such as orthopaedics. OAD Orthopaedics’ PAs participate
in patient care in both the clinical office and hospital
settings with duties including the following:
- Physical examinations, orthopaedic
- Preoperative exams, consultations
- Development of patients’ treatment
plans with physicians
- Assistance with wound closures,
dressings and instrumentation insertions
- In-patient hospital visits/“hospital
- Postoperative care
Physician Assistants Play Vital Role in Orthopaedics
responsibilities are the most critical aspect of their
collaboration with OAD Orthopaedics’
surgeons. The practice’s skilled assistants are
with the surgeons’ techniques, instrumentation,
and preferences, resulting in a highly coordinated
physician-directed, consultative level of care.
The OAD Orthopaedics’ PAs, however, do not make
surgical incisions, finalize instrumentation, or determine prosthesis
The cohesive physician-PA team approach to
orthopaedics enhances the quality and delivery of
specialized care, treatment, and services available to
patients. This systematic collaboration provides the
efficiency and consistency in health care that patients
deserve and value.
What is a Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse?
A nurse practitioner (NP)/advanced practice nurse (APN) is a registered nurse who possesses a master's degree. With formal education and specialty training, advanced practice nurses acquire the expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded practice. Nurse practitioners are board certified by either the American Association of Colleges of Nursing or the National League for Nursing and must have a state license to practice.
Nurse practitioners can work in many health care arenas such as primary care or acute care (hospital) or NPs can specialize in a specific area of medicine, such as orthopaedics. Nurse practitioners obtain health histories and provide physical examinations; diagnose and treat acute and chronic problems; interpret laboratory results and X-rays; prescribe and manage medications and other therapies.
In addition, many nurse practitioners participate in clinical research. Research may be conducted at a university setting or within a private practice. In this role, the nurse practitioner provides and coordinates the clinical care of research participants and acts as a patient advocate by assuring participant safety and maintaining the integrity of protocol implementation. The NP also assists in the data management of a study. Examples of clinical research may include studies that examine an investigational surgical procedure or the benefits of certain medical interventions related to a disease process.