A nurse practitioner or physician assistant – what’s the difference?
Stacey Gusman, the full-time nurse practitioner at Victory Medical Group’s Owen Clinic, says sometimes her patients aren’t exactly sure what a “nurse practitioner” does. Since Victory Medical Group clinics employ both Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) the patients sometimes ask about the difference.
“We occasionally hear the questions, ‘What is their training?’ and ‘What do they do?’” said Gusman. “We want to help our patients understand who is providing care for their families. Both NPs and PAs provide high quality, primary, acute, and specialty health care services similar to those of a physician.”
Gusman explained that:
• Nurse Practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education (most have master’s degrees) and advanced clinical training. Candidates for the profession must pass a national certification exam.
• Physician Assistants graduate from an accredited Physician Assistant program. Candidates for the profession must pass a national certification exam. At Victory Medical Group clinics, NPs and PAs provide the same level of care for patients.
Both NPs and PAs are able to:
• Prescribe medication and other treatments
• Perform physical exams and review histories
• Diagnose and treat common medical problems
• Order and interpret diagnostic tests and studies such as lab work and X-rays
• Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infection, and injuries
• Manage a patient’s ongoing health care
• Provide patient education and counseling
Gusman, who focuses primarily on family practice, is currently accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment with her, call 715.229.2177 or 877.886.2201.
Physician derives great satisfaction from patient care
David Cleveland, MD, FACP, FACEP, has always considered himself a “people person,” having the ability to both communicate with and help other people.
“I have always loved the sciences but really didn’t see myself sitting in a lab the rest of my life. I enjoy interacting with other people,” said Dr. Cleveland. “The mix of my skills and my desires led me to medicine.
Taking care of sick people is a very satisfying thing for me.”
Dr. Cleveland is a fulltime emergency physician for the Marshfield Clinic, on staff at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. In addition, he is medical director for the Saint Joseph’s Hospital branch of MinistryConnect, a telecommunication system for same-day referrals of acutely ill patients.
“The emergency department was taking on full-time staff. They offered me the opportunity to stay on full time; I’ve been there since 1989,” he said. Dr. Cleveland is a self-described “patient-seeing” doctor, taking care of acutely ill and injured people in the emergency department.
He also likes his part in MinistryConnect. “I enjoy this role because when we organized MinistryConnect, it was apparent that emergency physicians have a vast knowledge of the hospital’s staff expertise and resources,” he said.
Dr. Cleveland enjoys life in Marshfield immensely. At the end of the day, he appreciates living only four miles from work, where he can enjoy the peace and quiet of the woods.
“I have a lovely wife and two sons. I enjoy attending their athletic events and golfing with my youngest son. This is an excellent environment in which to raise my kids,” he added.
Music therapy helps patients
Christi Schmit and Richelle Kroening meet the needs of patients and families through music therapy.
Both health care professionals are board certified music therapists who interact with children and infants at Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, and patients on the Palliative Care Unit of Saint Joseph’s Hospital.
Music therapy, funded through Children’s Miracle Network and the Foundation of Saint Joseph’s Hospital, has been offered at the hospital since 2004.
For Corrine, music therapy made her stay on the Palliative Care Unit more bearable.
“Christi’s music relaxed and soothed me,” Corrine said. “It helped me work through some of the nausea issues I was having.
She always knew how I was feeling.” One of Christi’s goals while working with Corrine was to help her cope with the long-distance separation from her fiancé in the midst of her illness.
“Music therapy is more than just playing a song for a patient,” said Karin Meier, nurse manager of the hospital’s Palliative Care Unit. “The therapist is a wonderful asset and important component of our program.
Patients are hospitalized for many reasons, all of which can cause emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial strain. Music can provide an outlet for that.”
Music therapists at Saint Joseph’s Hospital have completed an approved music therapy degree program with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. They’ve also passed a national examination offered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists, and completed a six-month internship.
Research has shown that music therapy can help relieve pain, elevate patients’ moods, and counteract depression. It can also calm, sedate or induce sleep, counteract apprehension or fear, and help patients relax. Music therapists are trained to assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses.
They also design music sessions for patients based on client needs, using musical improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music. They participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow-up.
Children’s Miracle Network – a great way to give to children
The 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Celebration is now history, but the gifts and memories will last a lifetime. Every dollar donated to Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) is greatly appreciated; every penny is used to help ill and injured children in our area.
The $636,814 raised by CMN in 2008 was not enough to meet the more than $1 million in requests to fund projects to benefit children. Many worthy projects were denied because the funds were not available.
Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Marshfield became a partner with CMN in 1989. The funds raised locally help children in the North Central Wisconsin area, providing programs, services, and treatment for sick and injured children; preventing childhood injuries; and promoting healthy lifestyles.
All overhead costs associated with the operation and production of CMN are underwritten by local and national sponsors, enabling 100 percent of the contributions to be used to help kids.
Children’s Miracle Network is a year-round fundraising and awareness campaign. Contributions impact young lives – whether investing in the life of a premature infant or preserving the dreams of a teenager whose hopes are threatened by the malignancy of cancer, Children’s Miracle Network is dedicated to our most precious resource – the health and happiness of area children.
If you would like more information about Children’s Miracle Network, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715.387.9965 or, in Wisconsin, call 800.428.5000.
WellnessWorks Living Well Speaker Series Celebrating Wellness
Please join us for an inspirational evening that will fill your life with music, imagery, gentle movement, and positive energy.
Come prepared to enjoy a powerful presentation celebrating your own unique wellness journey!
Anita J. Scandurra, PhD
Wellness / Health Promotion Coordinator
Saint Joseph’s Hospital
Pam Gavrill, RN
Ministry Medical Group
Monday, December 7
5:30 p.m. – Registration and refreshments
6 p.m. – Presentation
Saint Joseph’s Hospital
Mother Frances Streitel Conference Center
611 Saint Joseph Avenue
Parking is available in Lot E.
Pre-registration recommended. Call 888.666.2708.