Frequently Asked Questions
Every year, millions of people choose Advanced Practice Clinicians (APCs) as their health care providers for a number of reasons: APCs excel in comprehensive primary care, and evidence shows that APCs produce quality outcomes equal to or even surpassing physicians. Additionally, with a nationwide shortage of physicians and an increased demand for health care services, APCs are often more available for patients than their physician colleagues.
A: An Advanced Practice Clinician (APC) can be an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or a physician assistant with advanced training. There are four types of APRNs: nurse practitioner (NP), nurse anesthetist (CRNA), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and nurse midwife (CNM).
Advanced Practice Clinicians are also known as Advanced Practice Providers (APP).
A: APCs can:
- In a primary care setting, APCs are able to provide the same level of care as physicians.
- Conduct physical exams.
- Educate patients about health conditions.
- Diagnose illness and disease.
- Order, interpret and share the results of lab and diagnostic tests.
- Prescribe medications.
- Perform office procedures.
- Refer patients to physical therapy, mental health counseling and other services.
- Complete most medical forms, such as those required by employers and insurance companies—in some case restrictions might apply and the APC will work with a physician to have the forms signed.
- In the hospital, APCs work collaboratively with the healthcare team and provide ongoing hospital care.
- Conduct history & physical exams
- Coordination of admissions and discharge planning;
- Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- Assisting in operating room
- Medication orders
- Hospital committee work to improve processes of care.
A: Yes! APCs can write prescriptions, order tests and provide referrals.
A: No. When you schedule an appointment with an APC, the APC will be your primary source of care during the appointment. APCs work independently and have their own panel of patients.
As with physicians, many of our APCs have longstanding relationships with patients and become the patients’ primary care provider.
In primary care, APCs are able to provide the same level of care that physicians do, and APCs and physicians consult back and forth on a patient’s care as needed.
A: Yes. Every year, millions of people choose Advanced Practice Clinicians (APCs) as their health care providers. APCs excel in comprehensive primary care, and evidence shows that APCs produce quality outcomes similar to physicians. Additionally, with a nationwide shortage of physicians and an increased demand for health care services, APCs are able to fill the gap in improving access.
A: APCs have advanced education and training and pass rigorous certification exams for licensure.
Physician Assistants (PAs) are educated in general medicine and trained using a disease-centered curriculum. Physician assistants graduate with a master’s degree.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are registered nurses with a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing and trained using a patient-centered curriculum. They typically specialize in a population or area of care that includes: family care (newborn to geriatric), adult-geriatric (primary care or acute care), pediatric (primary care or acute care), neonatal, psychiatric, or women’s health/gender-related, certified Midwife (CNM), or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
A: At ChristianaCare, all primary care providers work as a team. Our patients are at the center of the team. In primary care, APCs are able to provide the same level of care that physicians do, and APCs and physicians consult back and forth on a patient’s care as needed.
A: Patients pay the same fee for an APC’s care as they do for a physician’s care: insurance is billed the same and the co-pay is the same. Regardless of the provider, every patient will receive excellent comprehensive care from our team.