Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants: Integral members of your healthcare team.
Nurse Practitioner Anne Fiore educates a patient about his upcoming surgery.
During a visit to our doctor’s offices, patients will likely be treated by several members of our professional staff, including Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs). Patients often ask how NPs and PAs are involved in their care and what training they have.
NPs and PAs are highly skilled, licensed professionals, who practice medicine with physician supervision. They are an integral part of every medical and surgical practice and coordinate peri-operative and inpatient care of our patients.
NPs and PAs, also referred to as Advanced Practitioners, are licensed to perform a wide variety of activities, including physical exams, ordering and interpreting clinical tests, making diagnoses and assisting surgeons in the operating room. Specific NPs and PAs specialize in coordinating care for our inpatients. NPs and PAs are thus a valuable resource for guiding and expediting patients through their medical care. At the Mass General Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, we have 14 Advanced Practitioners (see current list here), some of whom you may have met already.
NPs & PAs are licensed to:
- Obtain a patient’s medical history
- Perform physical examinations
- Order and interpret blood tests, and radiology imaging studies
- Make a diagnosis and treat illnesses
- Prescribe medications
- Develop a treatment plan with the patient and family
- Teach, counsel, and advise patients and families
- Initiate consultations and referrals; coordinate all aspects of patient care
- Collaborate with supervising physicians and clinical team members
- Help patients and their families to navigate the health care system
- Perform special procedures
- Assist with surgery in the OR
- Improve patient satisfaction and safety
Educational Background & Training:
NPs and PAs generally start their training with a bachelor’s degree (BA or BS). Further class work and clinical rotations are necessary to gain a license. Nurse Practitioners complete their Masters of Science in Nursing and then pass a national certification exam, allowing them to register as licensed Advanced Practitioners. After a bachelor’s degree, Physician Assistant candidates require four years of health care experience before starting the PA Program. PAs must also pass a national board certification exam, permitting PAs to be registered as licensed Advanced Practitioners. NPs and PAs are additionally required to complete continuing nursing or medical education credits and re-certify regularly. If you have further questions, any of our Advanced Practitioners will be happy to address them.
Physician Assistant Lisa Beyer examining a spine patient radiograph.
Advanced Practitioners in Orthopaedic Surgery:
- Lisa Beyer, PA (Spine)
- Kathleen Burns, NP (Trauma)
- Janet Dorrwachter, NP (Hip & Knee)
- Anne Fiore, NP (Oncology)
- Kerrie Flynn, NP (Hip & Knee)
- Erin Hart, NP (Pediatrics)
- Marilyn Maguire, NP (Inpatient)
- Aimee Mulkern, NP (Shoulder)
- Emily Mulla, NP (Inpatient)
- Brian Petrone, PA (Sports)
- Deirdre Shea, NP (Sports)
- Alison Turner, NP (Pediatrics)
- Julie Welch, NP (Spine)
- Kristin Wood, NP (Hip & Knee)