Getting to Know Your Health Care: Advanced Practice Providers

At OSF HealthCare, we are transforming how we provide your health care so that more services are available to you when you need them. We’re striving to make waiting a thing of the past.

We want you to have more time with your health care provider and more options for care, so when you need to be seen, we can get you in. To help us accomplish this goal, we rely on the skills of advanced practice providers.

We understand people might not be familiar with this term. What is an advanced practice provider? How does this role impact my health care? Let’s help you understand this term and get comfortable with these vital members of the care team at OSF HealthCare.

What is an advanced practice provider?

Advanced practice provider is a term that describes both advanced practice nurses (APN) and physician assistants (PA). These providers have advanced degrees and are trained to approach patient care in a way that complements our team approach to patient care. They can perform physical exams, prescribe medications, order tests, provide education and make referrals.

“Health care is moving toward a team approach, and advanced practice providers are integral team members” said Melinda Cooling, OSF HealthCare Vice President of Advanced Practice Providers. “Each team member brings different skills and attributes from their training. Our new approach at OSF is very team oriented, with focus on an excellent patient experience. Advanced practice providers are well trained clinically to meet the needs of patients and their families.”

How does this impact my health care?

With the help of advanced practice providers, we can expand your options while keeping your care within a single team you know and trust. It’s all about access and advanced practice providers work closely with partnering doctors, giving you another option for higher level care when you need to be seen.

At OSF HealthCare we’re devoted to getting you the right level of care, at the right time.

About Author: Ken Harris

Ken Harris is a writing coordinator for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare.

He has a bachelor's in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a daily newspaper reporter for four years before leaving the field and eventually finding his way to OSF HealthCare.

In his free time, Ken likes reading, fly fishing, hanging out with his dog and generally pestering his lovely, patient wife.

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