THE OBSTETRICAL- |
GYNECOLOGIC NURSE PRACTITIONER
What is a Nurse Practitioner? An Obstetric-Gynecologic Nurse Practitioner (OGNP) is a registered nurse who has successfully completed training in a formal nurse practitioner educational program. The OGNP has acquired knowledge and skills in health promotion and maintenance, disease prevention, physical and psychosocial assessment, and management of health and illness for women throughout their life cycle.
How Do Obstetrical-Gynecologic Nurse Practitioners Function? The OGNP is a member of the health care team who provides independent and collaborative functions under the direct and indirect supervision of a physician. Nurse Practitioners traditionally function in the following four ways. They provide preventive care, episodic care, collaborative care and surgical care.
1. Preventive Care: A women's optimal health is maintained by preventive care. This is achieved through the annual gynecological exam, health education, and referrals to other health care professionals as needed. The primary focus is placed on health promotion including lifestyle and health behaviors, family planning and disease prevention. The OGNP is the primary source of health care for many women.
2. Episodic Care: Episodic care is the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic problems. This includes urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, sexually transmitted diseases, menstrual disorders and other obstetrical-gynecologic concerns. The OGNP will evaluate and refer more serious or potentially life threatening problems to a physician. The OGNP will order the appropriate laboratory, x-ray or ultrasound studies to facilitate physician intervention. A physician is available at all times to the OGNP of consultation.
3. Collaborative Care: Collaborative Care is most often provided in pregnancy, infertility management and menopause. The patient is seen on a rotating basis with the OGNP and the physician working together as a team. The OGNP provides routine prenatal care, including fetal and maternal assessment, fetal monitoring, obstetrical and gynecologic ultrasounds, postcoital testing, assessment of menstrual patterns and ovulation induction and management of menopausal concerns.
4. Surgical Care: The OGNP will assist the physician in surgery as well as follow-up with patients postoperatively. In addition to the primary physician, the OGNP will visit the patient while hospitalized. They will also phone the patient after surgery to discuss questions or concerns that may have developed.
Kathleen C. Flynn, RNC, NP
Kathy has worked in many areas of Nursing before getting her NP certificate. She was primarily working with public health issues, the mostly teenage gynecologic and pregnancy issues. She is active in her community and caring for her children. She has been associated with Dr. Crabb since January 1997.
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