I have had a number of nurse practicioner students come through my office over the years. I love to teach even though it is very stressful, patient satisfaction scores drop, and my production takes a hit.
It is very frustrating, given this, to take on a student weeks from graduation who cannot tell me what is an appropriate oral antibiotic for strep throat or if an EKG is abnormal or not. Worse, they do not seem to care to learn.
After turning down multiple students so far this year, I finally agreed to take on another one a few weeks ago:
“What is your differential diagnosis for chest pain?”
“Tell me the current PAP guidelines.”
“What antibiotic would you choose for community acquired pneumonia?”
“When do you graduate?”
In a month.
I realize that this may stir some controversy. Let me say that there are some really great nurse practicioners out there. I have met them. I have learned from some of them. There is a great role for NPs.
Yet, each year the students I am getting sent to me seem less and less equipped to handle the responsibility they are about to assume. There is a wide range of skill level in physicians, too, but it is particularly frightening that these people will be wielding a virtual prescription pad in a matter of weeks. I get students from three different schools and it is not just one that is the issue. It is all three.
I am not sure I can keep doing this…