Resources for Health Care Professionals


Welcome to HealthyWomen’s new For Professionals channel, where women like us who are health care providers can find industry news, information and printable patient-education resources. As a nurse practitioner (NP) I know all too well the time constraints associated with office visits. To be able to build on the foundation you’ve established in the exam room, with trusted, medically reviewed health content that’s easy for patients to understand”that’s a win-win for patients and health care providers alike.

This resource could not come at a more crucial time for NPs like me. With the recent election results, it is evident that health care reform, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, is here to stay. Within the next two years, if federal health care reforms proceed as expected, roughly 30 million uninsured people in the United States will be newly insured and trying to find new health care providers.

This creates a huge problem because, according to research in the Annals of Family Medicine, leading medical researchers project that the United States will experience a shortage of about 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025. We are already seeing a mass exodus in doctors from primary care. There are major Medicare cuts happening, and they will continue to happen as states look for ways to make up budget shortfalls. For this very reason, many physicians are choosing to specialize, as opposed to entering primary care.

For nearly a half-century, NPs across the United States have provided comprehensive, cost-effective, patient-centered services to millions of Americans in need of primary, acute and specialty health care services. But right now there are bills in congress, including in my own state of Tennessee, that would place new limits on the types of procedures NPs can perform.

Recently, the Institute of Medicine, together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, released a report addressing some of the current challenges to the health care system. The report strongly recommended that advanced practice registered nurses”including nurse practitioners”be allowed to practice to the full scope of their abilities and that unnecessary barriers to that practice should be removed.

As many of you are aware, NPs are advanced practice nurses who provide high-quality health care services similar to those of a physician. We diagnose and treat a wide range of health problems and offer a unique approach that stresses both care and cure. Besides clinical care, NPs focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education and counseling. We help patients make wise health and lifestyle choices. We are truly a patient’s partner in health.

NPs have graduate, advanced education and clinical training beyond their registered nurse preparation. Most have master’s degrees and many have doctorates.

From treating illness to advising patients on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we provide a full range of services, including:

  • Order, perform and interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and X-rays
  • Diagnose and treat acute and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, infections and injuries
  • Prescribe medications and other treatments
  • Manage patients’ overall care
  • Spend time counseling patients
  • Help patients learn how their actions affect their health and well-being

And patients who see NPs report an extremely high level of satisfaction with the care they receive.

Healthcare in America today faces many obstacles, most notably rising costs and the shortage of available health care providers. We have the chance right now to play a part in solving the health care problems we currently face in the United States.

Resources for Health Care Professionals

The NIDDK provides patient education materials, outreach materials, and practice tools for diagnosis and treatment of a range of NIDDK-related topics including diabetes, digestive disease, kidney disease, weight-control, and more.

Diabetes, Endocrine, and Metabolic Diseases

Health Care Professional Resources: National Diabetes Education Program

Diabetes practice transformation, clinical practice tools, and patient education materials for health care professionals from the National Diabetes Education Program.

Partner and Community Organization Resources: National Diabetes Education Program

Diabetes prevention and control messages, campaigns, and materials for partner and community organizations from the National Diabetes Education Program.

Other Diabetes Resources for Health Care Professionals

  • Comparing Tests for Diabetes and Prediabetes: A Quick Reference Guide
  • Diagnosis of Diabetes and Prediabetes
  • Diabetes Blood Tests: Important information for People of African, Mediterranean, or Southeast Asian Heritage
  • Sickle Cell Trait and Other Hemoglobinopathies and Diabetes: Important Information for Providers

Kidney, Urologic, and Blood Diseases

Health Care Professional Resources: National Kidney Disease Education Program

Practice aids to identify and treat, monitor, slow progression, and reduce and treat complications of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), plus patient education, diet, and lifestyle resources from the National Kidney Disease Education Program.

Laboratory Professional Resources: National Kidney Disease Education Program

Laboratory measurement and reporting tools for early detection and management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) from the National Kidney Disease Education Program.

Talk With Your Members

Resources for Professional and Patient Organizations: National Kidney Disease Education Program.

Digestive Diseases, Weight Management, and Nutrition

Health Care Provider Resources: Bowel Control Awareness Campaign

Practice resources to aid in diagnosis and treatment of fecal incontinence from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a service of the NIDDK.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis: Skin Manifestation of Celiac Disease

Summarizes information about this blistering skin rash and its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Photographs illustrate dermatitis herpetiformis.

Testing for Celiac Disease

Describes tests that identify serological and genetic markers associated with celiac disease. If tests indicate the possibility of celiac disease, a biopsy determines diagnosis.

Celiac Disease Organizations

Many organizations provide support to patients and medical professionals. View the full list of Celiac Disease organizations.

Health Care Provider Resources: Weight-control Information Network

Publications and resources on nutrition, physical activity, and weight control provided by the Weight- control Information Network, a service of the NIDDK.

Community Group and Organization Resources: Weight-control Information Network

Publications and resources on nutrition, physical activity, and weight control provided by the Weight- control Information Network, a service of the NIDDK.

Body Weight Planner

This tool allows users to calculate their personalized calorie and physical activity plan to reach a goal weight within a specific time period and maintain it afterward. Expert mode and advance controls for the Body Weight Planner tool are available for health care providers and show additional features.

We Can! For Health Professionals (NHLBI) 

Materials, resources, and community–based opportunities that empower health professionals to help their patients’ families from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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