7 Steps to Finding Your Clinical Passion

In some aspects of life, finding your passion is quite easy. You may have a natural talent or innate interest in a hobby or activity, your giftedness guiding your pursuits. You may be passionate about certain people - your family or significant other. When it comes to our careers, however, passions quickly become muddied with the practical. While this isn't always a bad thing, it can mean a swift spiral into job dissatisfaction, or a lack of enthusiasm for your career path. 

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Navigating FMLA + HIPAA: Notes for Nurse Practitioners

In my last post, I discussed the basics of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as they relate to healthcare providers. Nurse practitioners are likely to treat patients requesting medical leave from employers, and are often responsible for completing the paperwork required for the patient to do so. Discussing a patient's medical condition with an employer, however, puts the NP in a precarious position as healthcare providers are restricted from releasing patient information by HIPAA privacy laws. What information can nurse practitioners reveal to employers about patients seeking FMLA?

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FMLA Q&A for Nurse Practitioners

If you're a nurse practitioners, chances are that thinking about FMLA is accompanied by a groan. FMLA means more paperwork for healthcare providers charged with securing medical leave for patients or their family members. Before whipping out your pen and scribbling responses into the multi-page form, however, it's important that nurse practitioners familiarize themselves with the background of the law and the requirements for advocating for a patient's leave. An FMLA slip-up could leave you legally exposed. Maintain solid relationships with your patients, and follow the letter of the law by understanding the answers to these basic FMLA questions. 

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Foreign Body Freakout! How to Remove an Insect from the Ear

Have you ever treated a patient presenting with a case of insect-in-the-ear? Understandably, the situation is quite distressing for the patient. Spiders, cockroaches, and other creepy-crawlies entering the ear canal, particularly during sleep, occurs more commonly than you might think. While this isn't a problem I treat on a daily basis as a nurse practitioner in the emergency department, it happens from time to time. What is the best approach for removing an insect from the ear?

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Charting Hacks for Nurse Practitioners

Sometimes charting makes me want to scream. When I work in the fast track area of the emergency department diagnosing ear infections, suturing lacerations and treating minor injuries, I quickly become frustrated with documentation. It seems that charting the patient interaction takes longer than the visit itself. Not to mention, documenting what seems like the same visit over and over again makes me certifiably crazy. 

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