A Day in the Life of a Primary Care Practitioner
My usual day starts with a pre-visit discussion with a general practitioner where we meet to discuss the patients that have requested a same day urgent home visit. We discuss their presenting complaint, previous medical history, recent blood results and aim to predict potential differential diagnosis for their acute problem. This also gives opportunity to recognise those more complex patients that require a GP visit, or those that could be directed to more appropriate health care professionals, such as the community nursing teams.
I then prioritise the patients on the visit list in order to visit those who sound more acutely unwell to ensure they receive early assessment, treatment and referral to services that can prevent hospital admission. For example, I can see patients presenting with potential infections much earlier in the day, meaning these patients can get their antibiotics much faster – ultimately speeding up recovery times, meeting patient’s needs and avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.
After completing my visits I then have a post-visit discussion with the same GP, we discuss my findings in detail and work together to come up with the most appropriate forward management plan for each patient, ensuring their wishes are encompassed. I then complete the necessary referrals, before writing up my consultations.
Alongside providing patients with an efficient service, I am also helping to reduce the GP workload, providing them with more time to see complex medical patients in surgery. There can be as many as 13 visits during one day.
My role differs to that of a community nurse as I’m more involved in the multi-disciplinary work within GP surgeries and I don’t usually take on a caseload of patients. I aim to see patients for their acute on the day medical problem and either treat, or refer them accordingly, to other services for further management.
Why I love my role
I’m very patient-centred and enjoy the multi-disciplinary approach to meeting patients’ needs. I’m also able to draw on previous experience working on frontline ambulances to appropriately risk assess and ensure the best care pathway for each patient. I enjoy the role considerably as I like to be challenged, and the collaborative approach with GPs enables constant learning and development through reflective practice.
For more information about our partnership work to support primary care, read about our Primary Care Home initiative.