Many patients across the country have been confronted with waiting times in hospitals that are too long – anywhere from a few hours to weeks. AARP.com reports that, recently, nurse practitioners have been becoming a popular alternative to this seemingly endless delay.
In fact, these medical professionals can diagnose many different diseases, order tests and even write prescriptions, and many seniors who are hard-pressed to find an available doctor have turned to them instead – approximately 250 clinics in the United States are run solely by nurse practitioners.
"Nurse practitioners can deal with about 80 percent of the problems that show up in primary care settings," Marla Salmon, dean of nursing at the University of Washington, told the news provider.
Since they can see a patient more often than a doctor, the news source also suggests that nurse practitioners can form a relationship with those who are in need of care and may be better able to evaluate the progression of an illness.
Seniors who are looking to age safely and independently, but want to have access to medical care when necessary, may want to consider using a personal emergency response system. This device can allow patients to instantly notify a nurse practitioner in the case of an unexpected medical condition.