A nurse practitioner is a trained RGN (Registered General Nurse) who has undertaken additional specialist training to degree level. A Nurse Practitioner can see patients with undiagnosed problems; they can perform medical examinations, make a diagnosis, treat patients and/or refer patients. They work with patients to develop strategies to improve their health and to prevent illness through health education and counselling. They work closely with the doctors and other members of the nursing team.
The practice nurses are specially trained RGNs who carry out vaccinations and smear tests, give family planning advice, conduct pregnancy tests, perform routine and follow-up medical reviews, give health education advice, promote all aspects of healthy living, advise on travel medicine, assist with minor surgery and run disease management clinics. They can also carry out home visits on the instructions of the doctors. They are available during surgery hours by appointment.
Healthcare assistants are able to measure your blood pressure, temperature and pulse. They can perform urinalysis and blood tests, change dressings, collect specimens and carry out new patient registration checks. They can perform ECGs, spirometry (lung function tests), vaccinations, peak-flow tests and 24-hour blood pressure monitoring. The health care assistants work closely with the nurse practitioners, practice nurses and district nurses.
The practice pharmacists are fully qualified clinical pharmacists who work within the GP surgery. They will resolve day-to-day medicine issues and consult with and treat patients directly. This includes providing help to manage long-term conditions, advising those taking multiple medicines (polypharmacy) and delivering clinical advice about treatments. They will also assist with communication across a patient’s care pathway, manage medicines shortages by suggesting suitable alternatives where appropriate, and mentor newer pharmacists.