CT Scans: When Do You Need Contrast?

Working in the emergency department as a nurse practitioner, I order CT scans in my evaluation of patients every day. When I was newer to my role, I had a lot of questions about diagnostic imaging, when it was indicated, and what test to order. One of these questions that came up frequently related to CT scans was "Do I need contrast?". If you're a nurse practitioner who struggles with the same question, check out the following guide to contrast and CT scans. 

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CRNAs Earn Over $200K in These States

If you're a CRNA looking for a place to call home, or an aspiring nurse anesthetist thinking through the logistics of you future career, salary is of course a consideration in determining where you will practice or if, in fact, you will go back to school for an advanced degree. Salaries for nurse anesthetists are as a whole significantly higher than those for other advanced practice specialties. They are so high that in some states, average CRNA salaries top the $200K mark. 

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X-Ray vs. CT vs. MRI: What's the Difference?

When a child comes in to the clinic after a fall with pain in an extremity, as a nurse practitioner you know what to do. You order an X-ray of the affected area, right? Sometimes, however, selecting the appropriate diagnostic test isn't so simple. Ultimately, test selection depends on the condition(s) you are looking for or trying to rule out as determined by the patient's history and physical exam. If you're not quite sure what to order and when, here are some general differences between common diagnostic imaging tools which may help you make a decision. 

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Are We Asking Too Much of Preceptors?

If you're a nurse practitioner student, or an NP who recalls your grad school days, you know that finding a clinical preceptor can be a total nightmare. Unless you have a number of connections in the healthcare world, convincing a provider to take on the responsibility of training you isn't easy. Patient care and the demands of an employer take precedent over accepting a student, as they should. Even the most altruistic NPs must work - without this they wouldn't be able to serve as preceptors anyway. 

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MD vs. NP vs. PA: Here's How the Number of Clinical Hours Compare

The nurse practitioner, physician assistant, and physician professions each have a unique approach to training. Understanding these approaches to education is important for both employers and individual providers themselves. The way healthcare providers are trained impacts the decisions they make, their legal scope of practice, and the way they are employed and integrated into the healthcare team. Aspiring healthcare providers also must review these different approaches. Which fits best with one's own career timeline?

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