With the number of physicians across the U.S. shrinking, resulting in a nationwide shortage, the medical field is evolving to deal with this trend. Physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) are becoming increasingly important as a response to this shortage. A 2011 study in the Research Synthesis report showed that physician assistants and nurse practitioners accounted for over 25 percent of the primary care workforce.
The demand for locum tenens staff is increasing, as is the number of healthcare employers that realize the benefits of hiring temporary PAs and NPs. These many benefits include:
Supplementing physician care. Within the scope of physician supervision, PAs and NPs can relieve doctors of administrative and other responsibilities. In most states, PAs can perform many of a physician’s duties, including taking medical histories and performing examinations, and even prescribing medications and assisting in surgery. PAs and NPs are roles designed for collaborative patient care, a necessary approach during a period when fewer physicians are available to provide care.
A cost-effective option. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners require lower overhead and salary costs and perform about 80 percent of the same duties that physicians perform. A recent study reported in Ovid Insights indicates that the quality of care and practice patterns of PAs and NPs are widely comparable to those of physician care.
Patient satisfaction. Patients also recognize that PAs and NPs provide high-quality care. Forbes magazine reports that in a team-based model, PAs and NPs are second only to physicians as recruiting targets for employers, largely because of patient access and satisfaction provided by these medical providers.
When using locum tenens staff to supplement care in your practice, clinic, or hospital, employing physician assistants and nurse practitioners can be an indispensable option.
Learn more about how PAs and NPs can support your organization by calling Medicus Healthcare Solutions at 855-301-0563 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.