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Nurse practitioners 'match doctors'

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Emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs) are as good as doctors in the way they manage patients with closed musculoskeletal injuries, according to a UK study.

Emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs) are as good as doctors in the way they manage patients with closed musculoskeletal injuries, according to a UK study.

The aim of the study, based in the emergency department of Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, was to compare whether ENPs, emergency department physiotherapy practitioners and emergency department doctors treated and refer these patients differently. For the research, department records were reviewed retrospectively over 2.5 months.

It concluded that overall these staff groups investigated patients with fractures and dislocations similarly and followed departmental protocols. But there were differences between the groups.

Nurses, for example, were most likely to give patients structural support, such as bandages and splints.Meanwhile, doctors were more likely to give patients painkillers and non-steroidal drugs.

Journal of Emergency Medicine (2007) 24: 185-188

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Readers' comments (1)

  • In general, as nurses skills, education and responsibilities increase, and doctors just do less and less hours, the case for doing away with doctors altogether and just paying nurses the money instead gets better and better!

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