Uninsured/Underserved

  1. Foreword:
    I have tried to search for this topic, but my searching has revealed nothing.

    I am a RN in the Air Force with only ICU experience, looking to continue my education to be either an NP or a CRNA. Recently I have been dealing with multiple medical questions from my father. My dad's medical issues and his financial/family situation have caused me to ask some questions of my own.

    My questions have to do with how I could be of service to people like my dad who cannot afford healthcare, if I decide to become a NP.

    Background:
    Here are some details to help you understand where my questions are coming from.

    * My dad is 51 years old, married, with 3 out of 7 (I know!) children still living at home
    * Evolving/growing list of his medical issues (uncontrolled DM2, sedentary lifestyle, abdominal obesity, OA of hands requiring daily medication with OTC NSAID's, ED)
    * Cannot afford health insurance
    * Makes enough money to be ineligible for Medicaid, but not enough to be able to afford out-of-pocket doctor visits or prescriptions

    Questions:
    1. As an NP would I be able to help people like my dad by providing no/low cost basic primary care access?
    2. Assuming that I would need to hold down a regular NP job to earn a living for my family, what kind of free-time should I expect to have for a project such as this? Weekends? One or two days? A few hours?



    Afterword:
    Admittedly, I have a very poor understanding about healthcare access in general and have no direct dealing with these types of issues. I am sure that there are many more questions that I should be asking in regards to the feasibility of such a project...but again I have zero knowledge of the primary care arena. Any guidance/suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   USAFNC
    Is this a bad question? 55 views but no comments?
  4. by   core0
    Quote from usafnc
    foreword:
    i have tried to search for this topic, but my searching has revealed nothing.

    i am a rn in the air force with only icu experience, looking to continue my education to be either an np or a crna. recently i have been dealing with multiple medical questions from my father. my dad's medical issues and his financial/family situation have caused me to ask some questions of my own.

    my questions have to do with how i could be of service to people like my dad who cannot afford healthcare, if i decide to become a np.

    background:
    here are some details to help you understand where my questions are coming from.

    * my dad is 51 years old, married, with 3 out of 7 (i know!) children still living at home
    * evolving/growing list of his medical issues (uncontrolled dm2, sedentary lifestyle, abdominal obesity, oa of hands requiring daily medication with otc nsaid's, ed)
    * cannot afford health insurance
    * makes enough money to be ineligible for medicaid, but not enough to be able to afford out-of-pocket doctor visits or prescriptions

    questions:
    1. as an np would i be able to help people like my dad by providing no/low cost basic primary care access?

    yes

    2. assuming that i would need to hold down a regular np job to earn a living for my family, what kind of free-time should i expect to have for a project such as this? weekends? one or two days? a few hours?

    this is the rub. i know at least one pa who retired from the army and runs a rural health clinic by taking no salary. it really depends on how much money you need to make. if you are a crna you might be able to work 20-30 hours per week and make enough money to do other things. on the other hand as a crna you would not be able to help people like you dad. you should realize that as an np you will not be making much above rn pay initially with more hours and more responsibility.

    afterword:
    admittedly, i have a very poor understanding about healthcare access in general and have no direct dealing with these types of issues. i am sure that there are many more questions that i should be asking in regards to the feasibility of such a project...but again i have zero knowledge of the primary care arena. any guidance/suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated!
    bottom line is that it takes a lot of work and people to deliver healthcare. for your dad check out what other programs are available. many states and localities have programs that help people above a certain percentage or poverty or use needs testing. you can get experience with this by volunteering at you local clinic.

    in our area we have formed a group with practices, hospitals and county health department to serve indigent and underserved populations. the hospitals commit to a certain level of free or reduced care as do the specialty practices. there are a few np's and pa's that work directly for the clinic (bout 45k per year, really have to love the job). physicians, pa's and np's from the community volunteer there time and we have some retired physicians that see patients also.

    david carpenter, pa-c

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