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Question About Registered Nurse Pract.

eastkycoalminereeastkycoalminer Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Recovering from Surgery
QUESTION- CAN A RNP PRACTICE WHEN A DOCTOR IS NOT IN THE OFFICE? When I went for my 2 weeks checkup after l5-s1 PLIF surgery I saw a RNP she told me there was not a doctor in house due to the holiday vacations! I was almost out of my pain meds, which I had called the week before and asked them about changing and was told I could come back early or wait till my scheduled appt. Its a 3 hour drive for us (we have an 18 month old who hated car rides!) so I told them i'd wait, anywho, the RNP says she can't write narcotics, she coldly says she'll call the resident at the hospital (U.K. Hospital Lexington Ky) and ask, but she can't make any promises about my meds. Long story short, the main doctor was at hospital doing a surgery, had to wait till he finished to get my scrip which was sent over to his office for me 1 1/2 hour later. I did'nt get any of my questions answered, when I asked about the x-rays I just had, she only replied they were fine. Basically she only took out my staples, upped my nuerontin which I told her is not making any difference, upped my Zanaflex, which does help.


  • Usually on your two week check, the only thing they are checking is to see if the hardware is in place, and of course seeing if your pain is being managed. It does sound a little odd that they weren't prepared to renew your scripts in order for you to have adequate pain control, but sounds like in the end it was taken care of. I would for sure on your next visit be sure, your appointment is with the surgeon. If you made the appointment while there, be sure to call them and ask whom the appointment is with? I see many times the surgeon meets with the patients up to the point of surgery then lets the PA take over from there. One of the biggest reasons I tell patients when searching surgeons to also ask about the follow-up care. You will just need to insure you are meeting with the surgeon on your next visit, don't assume that is whom they made the appointment with. You can also fax a list of your questions ahead of time, in case it is their policy for you to see the nurse. Good luck and hope your doing better.
  • That maybe acceptable practice to the surgeon and maybe legal in your state. That doesn't make it right.

    I saw the PA post-op most times, the doctor sometimes. The nurse I saw only because she stopped in to say hi and see how I was doing. It wasn't a formal exam.

    I would do as tamtam recommends. Fax in questions ahead of time or email them if they'll accept emails. Just don't annoy them with 100 separate emails. I would also make sure when scheduling the appointment that you specifically state you want to see the surgeon or PA. The nurse should assist when necessary under their direction.

    When it comes to changing bandages, removing staples and sutures and the like. I would vote the nurse. They tend to be better practiced at it.
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