Every nurse has a story to tell, and every story has its own twist and turns. Every teller of the story has a different perspective on how to face everyday challenges and how they overcome them. However, it is necessary to learn what they go through to do their work and to understand their struggle.
The responsibilities of an FNP include diagnosing and treating common conditions, prescribing medications, ordering diagnostic tests, and providing treatment plans that may include referrals to specialists.
Nurse practitioners are often the first healthcare providers people see when they have a medical concern. This can sometimes be a daunting task, as it requires attending to the needs of many different people and handling their situations with care and compassion.
Read on to explore some common challenges FNPs encounter and how they cope with them.
- Balancing work and family life
It is a given that FNPs are required to be at their best since they have patients’ lives in their hands. They are obliged to go beyond their duty and work long hours and sometimes even weekends. This may be a good thing for those who have a sound support system at home, but what about those who live far from their families and do not get enough time to spare? A family nurse practitioner role goes beyond the regular work schedule. This is when the challenges of FNPs start to arise, and one has to be open-minded about it by adjusting and adapting to the current situation. The following are some strategies that FNPs can use to balance their work and family life:
a) Practicing mindfulness – Mindfulness is a way of living in the present. FNPs can reduce their stress by practicing mindfulness, being grateful, and being content with what they have. These practices can help them to gain perspective and avoid the hectic lifestyle they have been living.
b) Maintaining good relationships – Good relationships are vital in avoiding stress, primarily since FNPs work with other healthcare providers and many of their patients. They need to be open to feedback from team members and patients.
c) Learning to say “No” – Although the idea of helping people is highly appreciated, sometimes it can be overwhelming and draining for FNPs when they are constantly asked to do something else instead of focusing on their families or taking care of themselves. They must learn how to say “no” at times without feeling guilty.
These are just some of the ways FNPs can take control of their workload and manage stress.
- Providing medication to patients
Nowadays, many patients rely on medication to ease their pain and other symptoms. FNPs may have to decide what type of drug to give or what combination of drugs to use. While this requires much knowledge and experience, FNPs may still face challenges in prescribing the right medication for patients. Here are some common challenges that FNPs may encounter in prescribing and administering medications:
a) Managing the side effects – When prescribing drugs to patients, FNPs may inevitably see the side effects of what they prescribe. It’s one thing to see their patients feeling better after taking the medications, but it is another thing to see them experience side effects that can be uncomfortable. As such, FNPs must always consider the possible side effects when prescribing medications.
b) Drug interactions – Drug interaction is another common problem FNPs may face. Knowing which drugs patients are taking and ensuring no interaction between them is crucial for FNPs to avoid complications.
c) Managing patients’ expectations – FNPs may prescribe a certain type of drug for their patients, but the patients may still be expecting something else. This can lead to misunderstandings between FNPs and patients or even frustration on the part of FNPs. As such, FNPs need to manage patients’ expectations by communicating openly with them and educating them about their prescribed medications.
- Maintaining compliance with insurance companies
FNPs should be firm with their patients regarding the payment policy, but at the same time, they need to exercise patience when receiving payments from insurance companies. Insurance companies are not always reliable; sometimes, they do not honor the patients’ payments on time. This is stressful for FNPs because they need to chase them to get what they owe. Unfortunately, there are times when they have no choice but to seek legal advice to collect what their patients owe them.
- Dealing with patients who are not compliant
Patients can also be a challenge for FNPs, especially when they do not comply with the medications that they need to take. Sometimes, these patients refuse to visit the clinic even if it is an emergency and they are too busy in their own lives not to keep up with their treatment plan.
FNPs need to be assertive when dealing with patients who are not compliant, and they should be ready to seek help from other healthcare practitioners if necessary. This can prevent the worsening of their health condition and protect them from further complications.
- Managing difficult conversations with family members
FNPs always have difficult conversations with different types of people every day because they deal with so many issues at once, such as illnesses, death, and pregnancy. Talking about sensitive topics is part of the job description, but this can also lead to stress if someone does not know how to handle these situations properly. FNPs must practice self-care to manage some of these conversations and avoid becoming too attached to someone’s situation.
- Balancing the roles of a family member and professional nurse practitioner
FNPs have many responsibilities at home and during their working hours, which can be stressful for anyone, especially if they cannot manage their time accordingly. They need to make sure that they allow enough breaks so as not to let things get too out of hand, and they need to learn how to be self-sufficient so that they can still provide good care even without any supervision. The key is always planning ahead whenever possible, making it easier for FNPs to balance everything easily.
Everyday challenges faced by FNPs can be stressful at times, but as long as they are doing their jobs well and not letting anything get in the way of their main goal, the stress is worth it. As long as they can adapt to the changes in healthcare, FNPs can stay on top of things and do their work efficiently. They should understand the things expected from them during their shift to provide their patients with the best care they can. They should also always be open to learning new strategies that can make their job more accessible, and they should make it a point to stay healthy along the way because this will help them deal with stress more effectively.
Speaks from heart, always too passionate and driven by emotions. Spins the words with kindness & sharpness, intriguing your ever-inscrutable minds.