Top 10 Posts for Taking Your Clinical Game to the Next Level

Whether you're a nurse practitioner student or a savvy, experienced NP, there's always room to improve when it comes to clinical knowledge and skills. Over the course of the year, we've written several posts to help up your clinical game. From quick hacks to what to do when you screw up, here are your top 10 favorite clinical posts from 2016 to welcome the New Year. 

1. We Can't Stop Using These Three Lab Interpretation Apps

As nurse practitioners, both new grads and those with significant experience, it is inevitable that questions will come up related to ordering and interpreting labs tests. Fortunately for NPs, there are a few convenient, low cost apps designed to help. At MidlevelU, we road tested several lab interpretation apps to determine which are the most useful resources for nurse practitioners. Here are our top picks. Drum roll, please! Continue Reading...

2. 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? Continue Reading...

3. Million Dollar Questions that Make Diagnosis and Treatment a Sinch

If you find yourself in a situation where you aren't quite sure about the next steps, see if these million dollar questions help in making your diagnosis or determining your plan of care. Better yet, your patient won't even notice that you aren't sure what to do! Continue Reading...

4. What is a Rust Ring and How Do You Remove It?

When it comes to eye health, it's important that we as nurse practitioners and physician assistants have a solid foundation in our diagnostic and exam skills. Eye problems can range from simple infections and irritation to vision-threatening complications. Today, let's talk corneal foreign bodies and rust rings. Continue Reading...

5. Oh, @$&#%*! 5 Steps to Take After Making a Medical Error

We've all been there...on the guilty end of making a mistake when it comes to caring for our patients. Whether you prescribed an antibiotic to which the patient was allergic, performed a less than adequate procedure or misdiagnosed a medical condition, nurse practitioners and physician assistants aren't perfect. Mistakes are to be expected. We are, after all, human. But, when working with patients even the smallest of errors can have major consequences. What steps should you take when you totally screw up? Continue Reading...

6. Tricks of the Trade: Epistaxis Management

Raise your hand if you hate treating nose bleeds! Whenever I see 'epistaxis' pop up as a chief complaint on my computer in the emergency department, I head straight for the restroom...maybe by the time I return, another provider will have picked up the chart... Some nose bleeds resolve quickly with just a few sprays of Afrin, but those that don't can be tricky to treat. Not to mention, patients generally don't appreciate having tampon-like devices shoved up their nares. Here are a few tips and tricks for treating epistaxis in your practice. Continue Reading...

7. 5 Helpful Pocket Orthopedic Guides for Nurse Practitioners

Diagnosing orthopedic symptoms can be tricky. X-rays, for example, don't tell you a lot about tendons and ligaments that are often responsible for joint pain. Fortunately, there are a few quick references, both electronic and print, on the market to aid nurse practitioners in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including advanced exam techniques. If you could use a refresher when it comes to your orthopedic exam know how, check out the following references. Continue Reading...

8. 4 Key Questions to Help Your Patients Make Lifestyle Changes

At the Midlevels for the Medically Underserved kickoff in September, a speaker discussed the concept of motivational interviewing. In my eight years as a nurse practitioner, I had never been introduced to the topic. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Midway through her discussion, I had an 'Aha!' moment that will make a significant difference in the way I interact with my patients. Here's what happened. Continue Reading...

9. Subungual Hematoma Drainage Two Ways

One of my favorite procedures to perform in the emergency department is subungual hematoma decompression. The procedure is quick, easy, nearly painless for the patient, and provides instant relief. Not to mention, using a cautery tool is just plain fun. Here's what nurse practitioners need to know about subungual hematoma decompression. Continue Reading...

10. Clinical Hack: Kissing Trick for Nasal Foreign Body Removal

Attempting to remove French fries from the noses of wiggling kids and beads from the ears of screaming infants has never been my forte. Performing procedures on children, especially those involving foreign body removal, just isn't part of my job that I enjoy. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that make removing foreign bodies a bit easier. Continue Reading... 

In what ways do you plan to advance your clinical knowledge in 2017?

 

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