What Is An Advanced Practice Provider (APP)? – OHC
Advanced Practice Providers, or APPs, are nurses who have received advanced degrees in nursing. They can diagnose illnesses, treat conditions, and prescribe treatments. The APPs at OHC specialize in medical hematology, oncology and radiation oncology and are an integral part of the medical team.
APPs’ advanced training allows for more autonomy in the care of their patients. They can see patients independently from physicians and have the ability to prescribe medications.
Andy Guinigundo, an APP at OHC, notes that people often think of APPs as substitutes for physicians, which is not entirely accurate. However, APPs do bring additional skills and a unique perspective to the team at OHC. “We can do a lot of things a doctor can do,” he says, “but we have the same understanding that nurses do.”
OHC started using APPs about 15 years ago and they continue to add great candidates to their team of care providers. APPs are becoming increasingly visible at OHC and elsewhere, as their roles are being more clearly defined.
Additionally, APPs allow OHC to care for more patients.
According to Guinigundo, bringing APPs on at OHC is part of the evolution of finding the best mix for a care team. “If we’re going to be a cancer center that will continue to provide the best care for our patients, we have to roll with the punches…and I think nurse practitioners and APPs are a part of that mix.”
Currently, OHC is the only group of physicians in the area that provides patients with treatment planning and treatment summary visits. APPs are part of why OHC is able to give patients innovative care not offered elsewhere.
According to OHC Nursing Director Natasha Clinton, in the next 10+ years, there will likely be more cancer patients and a shortage of oncologists. Utilizing APPs will allow OHC to continue to provide high-quality, convenient, and innovative care for the increased number of patients. Utilizing APPs is part of OHC’s plan to adapt to the ever-changing medical field.
OHC patients can see APPs in various stages of treatment, from the early steps of diagnosis to follow-up care. Like traditional nurses, APPs are experts in supportive care. And according to Guinigundo, APPs have a traditional professional relationship with their patients, but bring a personal approach to patient care.
For example, adds Guinigundo, “APPs are equally skilled at discussing a patient’s overall treatment plan while also recognizing individualized treatment side effects and prescribing interventions to treat those side effects.”
APPs are an integral part of the team that allows OHC to provide outstanding care for patients. Their background in nursing and supportive care, combined with advanced training and increased responsibility in patient care, make them invaluable to both their patients and their fellow care providers.
If you’d like to know more about APPs and how they can help you, feel free to speak to an OHC APP on your next visit. They’re here for you.