To not want to see a Nurse Practitioner.

(149 Posts)
Selks Thu 07-Nov-13 08:27:31

Have just rung the GP for a Drs appointment today after being ill for a fortnight and having a suspected kidney infection. The collective advice of MN and NHS direct said I should see a Dr ASAP.
The only appt offered to me was with a nurse practitioner. I spoke to the duty Dr and that is all they will offer me. No disrespect intended to nurse practitioners but after being misdiagnosed by the nurse practitioner before for an unrelated issue I am not keen to see them again for a condition that if misdiagnosed could potentially end me up in hospital. Dr was unwavering when I voiced my concerns.
AIBU to want to see an actual Dr?

ubik Thu 07-Nov-13 09:15:20

Nurse practitioners can write prescriptions and are very experienced. Give me one of them over some junior doc any day. They are generally fab.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 07-Nov-13 09:20:03

But aren't their lists that both drs and nurses are aware of. Ones where if symptoms tick certain boxes it flags up.

I don't think drs are any more likely to pick it up than NPs or nurses.

I remember watching an undercover doc where they sent in people with textbook symptoms and drs missed it completely.

The NP will only generally be given patients with UTIs, chest infections etc.

They're really very capable and have usually been doing their job for a very long time.

The NP where I work even does home visits (not the sort district nurses do but the ones GPs do)

DorisShutt Thu 07-Nov-13 09:22:18

Our NP's are bloody amazing. I saw one for a lump in my breast (fibrous lump so no worries) and she was so calm and reassuring.

Also, I think in our practice they have areas of speciality so our receptionists (also brilliant!) discreetly ask if you'd mind giving an indication of the issue so they can place you where you will be best seen.

As with most things in life, it will depend on the person.

whatever5 Thu 07-Nov-13 09:29:26

Although I'm very happy to be treated by specialist nurses for my long term chronic condition (in hospital) I would not be very happy with being told I have to see a nurse practitioner and not a GP at my GP surgery.

Obviously it would depend on what I thought was wrong with me but although NP may able to diagnose a lot of things they can't replace a GP for everything. A GP has had a lot more training. I would try and switch practices after this is sorted out.

Whatever NP are generally only given patients with minor ailments. Would you really not be happy for a NP to see you for a uti? All they need to do is dip it, and if needed send it off to the lab. Or if you had an ingrown hair? A chesty cough? A dog bite? (These are the things our NP has seen people for recently).

Doctors are busier than ever so if a very capable nurse can treat a patient then why not?

Op I hope you get better soon

NoComet Thu 07-Nov-13 09:41:07

I'd rather see a NP any day than 'Dr. There is Nothing Wrong with You'

Mind you so would everyone else in the town, Dr TNWWY is the only one who ever has any appointments

Selks Thu 07-Nov-13 09:42:17

Thanks Spotty.

usuallyright Thu 07-Nov-13 09:42:26

I'm not sure why people have oases with nurse practitioners? They have to be degree educated and in my experience have a better bedside manner than doctors. They're always so knowledgable, (need to prove themselves more than a GP does, maybe?)

DownstairsMixUp Thu 07-Nov-13 09:43:57

I've been misdiagnosed by GP's twice. Not once by NP's. Go figure.

NP's arent just "NP'S" they have done 3 years nurse training plus 18 months on top to of that plus all their experience. Throughout my training I met charge nurses/NP's even staff nurses that were more knowledgable than doctors on the wards! I think that's a bit of a rubbish attitude to have to dismiss all NP's on one experience. As I said, I have been misdiagnosed by two doctors but I still go and see other doctors as the majority are good at their job.

Also selks if the NP thinks you need to see the duty doctor you will likely get to see him/her straight away rather than waiting ages for an appointment smile

I think doctors are a lot more qualified than nurses, and I would demand to see a doctor for a serious issue.

The only reason yo are fobbed off with a nurse is "cost".

But maybe you need to see a nurse first before you can see a doctor?

ShoeWhore Thu 07-Nov-13 09:49:01

Our NP is brilliant. She mainly does minor ailments from what I know - certainly that's what we've seen her for. She's a v experienced nurse, ex-HV and now the Community Matron for our GP practice and has obviously had extra training to do this role. She's actually an excellent person to see with small kids. Also I think there are strict guidelines as to what she can deal with herself, I have known her go and grab a GP for their opinion where what you are presenting with goes beyond her role.

BrianTheMole Thu 07-Nov-13 09:51:10

Our np is really quite good. I prefer to see her over some of the gp's in the practice. If she wasn't good I would insist on seeing someone else. Same if the gp wasn't good.

ParsingFancy Thu 07-Nov-13 09:51:38

Spotty, in every one of your examples, the diagnosis has actually been done by the patient before they came in - which is how they were "given" to the NP.

They've come in saying, "I have an ingrown hair, dog-bite, a UTI. I'll see the NP for treatment."

So actually the NP didn't diagnose anything.

Fiscal NPs only deal with minor ailments ime so if it's serious you should definitely get to see a gp

Arohaitis Thu 07-Nov-13 09:56:17

Oh I so get you
I just wish my GP could mark my file since I am lucky enough to go there about once every 5 years (outside pregnancy) so when I go I have no interest in seeing the middle man last time I went the first thing she said in response when I told her what was wrong was you need to see a Doctor
Urrr yes I told you that myself when I phoned.

I should bill them for my wasted time ha ha!

ParsingFancy Thu 07-Nov-13 09:56:20

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting NPs aren't trained or don't have degrees, or aren't lovely, smiley people.

But by definition they are less trained and qualified than GPs. And I can't see a medical argument for using a less knowledgeable person for diagnosis - only a cost one.

QuintesKabooom Thu 07-Nov-13 09:58:22

Sadly it seems you have to go through the NP just to see a doctor these days.

In our Gp they work alongside the doctors, so will fetch a doctor if there are any concerns.

At the last GP I was registered with, the NP diagnosed pneumonia, and gave me 5 days of antibiotics. hmm I asked her if that was long enough for pneumonia, and she said "yes of course, dont you trust me? And you can always come back for more". I ended up on 4 courses of antibiotics, steroids and an inhaler, as the bacteria had developed resistance to the first course and took over completely as the course was so short. I dont remember ever having been so ill. (aside from when I had viral meningitis)

Arohaitis Thu 07-Nov-13 09:58:59

Downstairs doctors have done more 'training' than a NP just at university that is before they even start their training

Although what we seem to be saying is it depends on why you go!

True but lots of people who come in to see a gp know what the problem is, or at least suspect it. If they suspect a uti or chest infection it's still the NP who needs to diagnose it. I don't think a patient would be told to see a NP if it was something really complicated. That's the whole point of NP, to take the work load of minor ailments from the GP.

I think it depends on the doctors surgery too, my own surgery doesn't even have a NP! But yes definitely depends on why you're going smile

ParsingFancy Thu 07-Nov-13 10:02:47

(And BTW I've had some pretty shit GPs, so I'm not exactly putting them on a pedestal. But they would have been just as shit if they'd been NPs, but known less. And I'd have had the time, cost and hassle of getting to the surgery twice as often.)

ParsingFancy Thu 07-Nov-13 10:06:25

Well exactly, Spotty, there's clearly an immensely valuable role for NPs.

But when a patient wants to see a doctor because it's been going on for a while, and the possibilities of what it is are very broad, then refusing to allow them to see a GP is... well, interesting.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 07-Nov-13 10:10:47

A gp sent my dd home with "a cold"

Ended up in a&e and admitted for 4/5 days.

Another prescribed movicol for when she needed a special milk.

I don't trust drs at all.

The nurse in hospital however figured what was probably wrong with dd five days before the drs "got results back"

Not saying that they don't have to wait for test results but there was no mention of UTI at any time as a possibility, despite the nurse stating that the dip results were indicative of a UTI.

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