Physician Assistants (PA) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) are an important
part of the healthcare team, and are commonly seen throughout Campbell
County Health providing excellent patient care. Both treat illnesses,
provide patient teaching and prescribe medications. But, there is a difference.
PA – Physician Assistant
A licensed medical professional who can examine, test, treat and prescribe
medication for patients with the supervision of a licensed physician.
PAs have more of a generalized education, but can also specialize in areas
that may include emergency medicine, orthopedics and general surgery,
PAs complete a three-year graduate-level program that requires the same
prerequisite courses as medical schools, complete 2,000 hours of clinical
rotations and pass a national certification exam. There are more than
100,000 PAs in the United States.
A licensed medical professional who can assess patients, order and interpret
diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, prescribe medications and initiate and
manage treatment plans. NPs can work in many different and diverse areas,
such as geriatrics, mental health, pediatrics and women’s health,
NPs complete a master's or doctoral degree program, and have advanced
clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse preparation.
They blend clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating health conditions
with an added emphasis on disease prevention and health management. There
are more than 222,000 NPs in the United States.
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