In nearly every industry and occupation, there are “hard” and “soft” skills that make an employee effective and well-rounded. For nurse practitioners, clinical skills make up most of the hard skills necessary to thrive in the role. As a well-established staffing agency, we discuss the clinical skills that every successful nurse practitioner should have:
- Conduct physical exams.
Physical exams are the foundation of medical care. To provide the best treatment, nurse practitioners must assess a patient’s condition to determine health. This includes their heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory capacity, and weight. Unlike a legal nurse consultant, a nurse practitioner may also compile a health record that includes the patient’s history.
- Order tests and lab work.
Nurse practitioners must understand the purpose of different tests like specimen swabs and blood work, so they can order them when appropriate. When the results come back, NPs have the skills and knowledge to interpret them for patients to educate them on what the results mean. This includes making diagnoses and developing a treatment program.
- Prescribe medication and treatment.
With a confirmed diagnosis, NPs construct treatment plans that include medication and recommend certain services like anesthesia services. While other conditions have straightforward treatments, they must also consider each patient’s circumstances. This includes their social determinants of health to ensure that the treatment plan is realistic for the patient’s lifestyle and condition.
- Aid in health management.
Nurse practitioners see patients whose conditions are not urgent or acute but may be chronic or develop over a lifetime. Hence, NPs also counsel patients on disease management and overall health maintenance.