Showing posts from: February 2016

#ForeignBodyFriday - The PG Version, Of Course

If you've been a nurse or nurse practitioner for a while you have undoubtedly seen some interesting foreign body predicaments in your day. Typically, these instances involve a child with a bead up the nose or a kernel of corn in the ear. But, sometimes these foreign body plights are a bit more impressive.

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Understanding CPT Codes in 10 Minutes or Less

Earlier this week, I discussed the basic concepts of E/M coding. E/M, or evaluation and management, coding is the system by which billing and reimbursement for medical services occurs. Unfortunately, as healthcare providers, we aren't so great at assigning billing codes for the services we provide. As a result, our paychecks often suffer. 

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Spring Break Getaways for NP Students That Aren't Totally Useless

If you're a nurse practitioner student, chances are you're not quite in YOLO mode when it comes to Spring Break 2016 planning. The stress of midterms, squeezing in clinical hours, and somehow maintaining a semblance of an income, have Spring Break looking like more of a week full of laundry and catching up on errands. Fortunately, there are a few fun ways for nurse practitioner students to spend Spring Break that aren't totally useless. 

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Nurse Practitioner Job Blast: Get Your Search On

Are you trying to get motivated to start your job search? Finding new nurse practitioner employment can be a daunting task. The search for the perfect opportunity may be lengthy, escaping your current job for an hour here or there to interview undetected is logistically difficult, and onboarding with a new company is simply a drag. Procrastinate no more!

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You Have One of the Top 25 Jobs in the U.S.

Being that it's Monday evening and you're likely wrapping up a packed shift, running behind on documentation, and late to pick up your kids, you may not feel so great about your job at this exact moment. So, take a deep breath, and a step back to get some perspective. Life as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant is pretty sweet - so much so that both careers recently made the list of Top 25 Jobs in America for 2016. 

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The Beginner's Roadmap to E/M Coding

Are you employed by a practice requiring nurse practitioners to code their own charts? The family practice where I was previously employed relied on providers to select their own office visit codes. Often, I felt like I was shooting in the dark in my selection. If the visit 'felt' complex, I would assign a higher level code. If the visit seemed routine, I deemed a middle of the road CPT code sufficient. 

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Is the ‘Nurse Practitioner Mindset’ Doing NPs a Disservice?

I recently had a conversation with a nurse practitioner student frustrated that her clinical preceptors had been primarily MDs. She felt that while working alongside a physician was valuable for clinical learning, she was not taught to practice like a nurse practitioner, ‘caring for the whole patient’. Questioning her further about her experience, she felt that NPs might spend more time with their patients as opposed to running ‘patient mills’ which had been her experience with physician preceptors. 

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Weekend Wrap Up 2.21.16

Happy Sunday! This weekend has passed by much too quickly. A Saturday afternoon spent doing chores has me indoors this afternoon planted squarely on my cough watching '90's movies with my husband (and also thinking 'no wonder my mom wouldn't let me watch this show in middle school...'). If you also find yourself with some downtime this afternoon, check out the week's more interesting medical news stories. 

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Tax Writeoffs: Can NPs Deduct Licensure, Certification, and CME Costs?

It's all about what you can get back when it comes to filing your taxes. Deductions are a fine line and you certainly don't want to raise any red flags with the IRS. But, you do deserve a fair assessment when it comes to what you owe Uncle Sam (or he owes you!). Many expenses nurse practitioners incur throughout the year may be written off when you file your taxes. What's legitimate and what's not?

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What are PECARN Rules? Hint: They Don't Involve Nuts

Deciding when to order a CT scan in the case of a head injury can be a frustrating process. Yes, the likelihood of a serious finding is often low, but do you really want to be wrong when it comes to a head injury? Absolutely not- the stakes are too high. In kids, the CT decision becomes an even riskier process. Ordering a CT scan unnecessarily increases risk of radiation-related malignancy later in life. Enter the PECARN rules. 

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Finding a Job with a ‘Red Flag’ on Your NP License

Are you a nurse practitioner with a potential warning sign on your license? Such 'red flags' may constitute previous termination, a criminal conviction, or anything reported to the National Practitioner Databank. Proactively planning your approach for securing new employment will make or break your chances of finding a job if your record is less than squeaky clean. 

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Tips That Will Make You a Rockstar at Clinic Time Management

Advice to avoid getting behind schedule

Getting behind schedule is a constant battle for many nurse practitioners. Patients arrive like clockwork for appointments, piling up in the lobby, as you struggle to get those currently in the exam room treated and out the door. Unexpected paperwork piles up. Answering patient calls eats up precious minutes. Your printer malfunctioning requires time to fix. 

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