By definition a nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education and clinical experience required to deliver primary health care. They practice in a variety of ambulatory, acute and long term care settings including occupational health. At BarnesCare, nurse practitioners are key players in a collaborative practice with physicians, physical and occupational therapists and other health care professionals.
Nurse practitioners deliver care within a scope of practice defined by their individual state licensing agency, specialty, education and organization. As primary care providers, they formulate appropriate diagnoses based on patient history, physical examination and clinical findings. BarnesCare nurse practitioners develop a treatment plan for each patient visit that may include ordering, conducting and interpreting diagnostic and laboratory tests. They also can prescribe medications and physical or occupational therapy. When necessary, patients may be referred to specialty or collaborating providers for treatment. Regardless, the treating nurse practitioner remains responsible for the quality of care.
Karen Moore, MSN, RN, BC, ANP, BarnesCare nurse practitioner, feels that the collaborative environment of BarnesCare is key to providing quality care, “The provider that initially treats the patient tries to continue with that patient to provide a seamless continuum of care,” Moore says. “However, if we need another perspective, we don’t hesitate to consult with each other. It is not uncommon to find me observing a patient in therapy or discussing a case with the therapists or physicians. We talk and work together to ensure excellent patient outcomes.”
BarnesCare nurse practitioners also educate clients and patients on health promotion and disease prevention. Andrea Tobiasz, MSN, RN, BC, ANP, BarnesCare nurse practitioner, understands that occupational hearing loss is one of the most pervasive occupational health hazards found in a wide range of industries. Tobiasz leads the BarnesCare hearing conservation team. “We frequently work with employer safety teams to review Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation standards,” Tobiasz says. “We help develop company policies and procedures, determine protective equipment needs or necessary changes in production, process or controls.”
Moore, who has been involved in education for most of her nursing career, enjoys the educational aspect of her job. “To be a good nurse practitioner, you have to be a good teacher,” she says. “I educate patients on their medications, treatment plan and home exercises so they feel more in control of their recovery. Teaching health promotion or ways to prevent diseases or injury is part of providing quality care.”
According to Thomas Kibby, MD, MPH, CIME, FACOEM, BarnesCare's chief medical officer, the role of nurse practitioners in occupational health will continue to evolve. “Our nurse practitioners have developed advanced clinical skills through practical training and experience. Their focus on health promotion, patient and client education, and evidence-based medicine makes them a tremendous resource for our medical staff, client companies and individual patients.”
Meet BarnesCare's team of nurse practitioners.