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    wanderlust nurse

    I believe it is important to lend some clarity to this issue. I am an American Nurse Practitioner currently working here in Australia. I have worked with my Physician Assistant colleagues for the vast majority of my career and therefore also know quite a bit about the role differentiation. The “traditional” difference lies in the fact that nurses are trained in a “nursing model” and physician assistants in a “medical model.” Traditionally the nursing model of healthcare encompasses the patient’s perception of disease in a context of societal, socioeconomic, spiritual, and environmental (amongst other things) factors. Traditionally the medical model focuses on the disease and its interaction within the individual. At least, that’s my understanding of it when I was taught this stuff years and years and years ago. This would coincide with the assertion that NPs “tend to be providers of health promotion and disease prevention” more so than doctors or PAs. I do not agree with Dr. Hooker’s statement that PAs tend to function more as generalists than NPs. In fact, most NPs in the United States are generalists. What you see instead is that PAs tend to be more procedural and be involved as first assistants in surgery. Finally, the fundamental difference between NPs and PAs is that an NP is an independent and autonomous provider of healthcare whereas a PA, by law, MUST work in consultation with a doctor. This is not to say that NPs will not work in _collaboration_ with their doctor and allied health colleagues. It only means that they are not required by law to have a master-servant relationship whereas PAs are.

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