Anyone from public health background?

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    I'm curious if any NP's here ever worked in a health department or in some capacity within public health?

    I'm wondering, how do you feel your job prepared you (or not) for your role as an NP? What benefits/ challenges do you perceive are related to your experience?

    Currently I am working at the local health dpt in women's health. Here, we are given specialized training to perform advanced procedures beyond regular RN duties. For instance, I do breast and pelvic exams, perform Pap smears, and identify and treat std's based on pre-established protocols. I believe this training will help in the women's health portion of NP school (I start this fall) but I sometimes wonder if my training is better or worse for my future practice than traditional med surge- I only worked 6 mos in a hospital.

    I'm asking because I'm at a crossroads. I'm starting NP school this fall and I want to gain the best experiences possible to prepare me for both school and real world NP work. I'm considering applying for a transfer to child health in the health dpt to gain experience in that area (also an expanded role position like the one I am in now, utilizing training to identify and treat within protocols) or going back to the hospital for more med-surge practice.

    Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated!

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  2. 4 Comments...

  3. 0
    Rizz,

    You said (sorry, I forgot to add the quote initially), and I quote: "Currently I am working at the local health dpt in women's health. Here, we are given specialized training to perform advanced procedures beyond regular RN duties. For instance, I do breast and pelvic exams, perform Pap smears, and identify and treat std's based on pre-established protocols."

    I'm curious to know how this specialized training is within the scope of a Non-APRN's practice? How can a RN without an APRN licensure be able to perform this type of patient care (specifically PAP smears, pelvic exams, breast exams) even within the employer's protocol? How can an employer's protocol for duties override the scope of practice for a Non-APRN?? I'm looking forward to gaining insight regarding this. Thanks!
  4. 0
    Rizz, I'm also curious as to whether you received a certification of some sort after completing your training? Thanks.
  5. 0
    I have heard of RNs in Public Health doing those things. They did it during my health department rotations in school here in Southeast (rural) NC. I remember asking how they could legally do those things and they said they had to go to training and get certification in order to do it.

    They said those functions fell under something call Extended or Expanded Practice/scope for the public health setting. I can't remember what the exact term was, but because of that provision they could do those "advanced" things and defer to a licensed independent practitioner (MD,NP, PA, etc..) when abnormal or complex issues were expected or present.

    Here's a link that kind of mentions about the expanded role.
    http://ncpublichealthnursing.org/PHN%20IIIsample.pdf


    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses
  6. 0
    Patmac10, thanks for replying and to help me understand this new information.


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