Nurse Practitioner vs. Physician Holistic Care

  1. Real differences in holistic approach of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians from the eyes of all medical personnel. Is there truly a difference and if so why? Do nurse practitioners and physicians truly differ in approach when they are both in the same specialty with a similar case load.

    Hello to anyone who happens to read this. I generally frequent this site and have a question for anyone/everyone in the medical field, and nurses in particular. From all my blog reading and knowing they are people out who just want to see the world burn, please don't make a mess of this post by throwing an unneeded wrench in the system just for fun.

    What does it mean to holistically care for a patient?

    What is the difference of care from a physician and nurse if they are both being holistic in their treatment? I have seen it argued that nurses are more holistic than physicians, but what does that really mean? For those of you who are NPs and carry similar loads to physicians in terms of patients, how do you make it so you are more holistic than the physician when you have approximately the same (short) amount of time to do a work up/assessment/etc. for a patient?

    Also, why does everyone assume that physicians cannot be holistic in their care, especially when the LCME has mandated all schools be holistic in their admissions and teaching of students? From everything I have seen and the people I know in medical school, they are taught to think about the patient as a whole and know that treating the disease alone is not proper care. If you cannot connect with your patient how are you supposed to get them to listen to you, trust you, and follow through with the treatment plan you come up with. So why is it everyone says physicians are not trained to be holistic and not able to consider more than the disease? Although, I will admit that the older generation of physicians may not be as holistic in their approach, but is it safe to assume they are all the same?

    Also, I have seen in a few posts on here that some NPs claim to be no more holistic than their physician counterparts due to the need to see more patients. Are these NPs outliers? The argument was if they took the time to meet long term with each patient they would not see enough of them to cover their base salary, thus to be employable they have to work quicker e.g. like physicians. Could it not be said that if physicians were able to work slower and make the same pay that they would because they could better connect with their patient?

    Anyways, that is about the gist of it and was looking for some insightful information if anyone was willing to provide it. Thanks in advance, if not for the information, for at least reading my long post.

    Apparently I did not have enough words to post this, so I am going to add a small anecdotal story or two that are relevant but hold no real bearing on what I am asking. Feel free to read this or not, it should not change your response. However, one time when my daughter was not feeling very well we took her to a local clinic (urgent care) and at this time the medical professional running the show was an PA. It did not seem very packed, at least when looking at the lobby, but the PA was very friendly and took the time to ask questions about my daughter and genuinely tried to build a relationship with her in the short time they interacted. Basically I know very little when it comes to physician's assistants that if anyone wants to add anything they know, I would be interested to hear(in this case, read) more. But don't let it take away from the main point.
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Nov 1
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Rnis
    I think the Drs I work are pretty holistic. We are able to choose our 'time' structure for patients. most of the PA/NPs choose a longer time structure with their patients. (20/40 as opposed to 15/30 structure) interestingly enough...many of our female physicians also choose the longer appointment structure. by choosing that longer structure you have to spend more time in clinic....but I think in the end you are able to get most of your charting done during actual visit times...and it's a lot less stressful to not be rushing patient to patient. I think the extra time allows people the freedom to spend the extra time getting to know their patients. Not being stressed is priceless. Love my co-workers. I have had the opportunity to observe most of our MD's , NPs and PAs in my practice. Each has there own individual style but I think they are all trying to look at the patient holistically.
  4. by   traumaRUs
    While I try to approach my pts holistically, the fact remains that my pts are on multiple meds, have multiple co-morbids and require a lot of time just to get thru who's prescribing what med?
  5. by   BCgradnurse
    I work in a specialty practice, and we are trying to be more holistic. One of the MDs and I are currently training in functional medicine, which looks at the root cause of conditions and incorporates a holistic approach. Right now we're doing this while still seeing patients every 15 min, but that will have to change if we truly want to embrace the functional model.