Lea Way, FNP, PA-C
My career in medicine began serendipitously as a nursing assistant at Wickenburg Community Hospital. While working, I also completed Nursing School at Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Arizona. Before long I began to feel as though I couldn’t do enough for patients and wanted to go further. I entered the Primary Care/Emergency Nurse Practitioner Program at Maricopa County Hospital, challenged the PA exam, and became a Physician Assistant.
I love practicing medicine and have done so for over 30 years. Every patient has a story and every patient is dear to my heart. I see patients from all ages for disease prevention, treatment, and health maintenance. I believe medicine and care go together and all patients should have a voice in their care.
My husband and I live in Wickenburg, raised our family here, and love the community.
Family Nurse Practitioner’s Role in Primary Care
With the growing complexity of health care and diminishing availability of primary care physicians, many patients are seeing family nurse practitioners for their primary care needs.
Nurse practitioners help patients manage acute and chronic illnesses. They conduct physical exams and perform diagnostic tests and procedures. Nurse practitioners in the family practice specialty diagnose and treat patients from childhood to adulthood.
Scope of Responsibilities
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have an advanced training. With the exception of surgery, nurse practitioners are allowed under state regulations to provide many of the same services performed by physicians. These services include diagnosing and treating health problems; performing prenatal, well-child, and adult care checkups; diagnosing and managing minor trauma, including suturing and splinting; prescribing medications; and teaching health promotion and disease prevention to patients.
Family nurse practitioners approach patients with an understanding of the value of collaborative, family-centered care.
In addition to the focus on family dynamics, nurse practitioners have referral and consultative relationships with other healthcare providers, such as physicians, pharmacists, and psychologists. Effective collaboration has proven to promote better communication, healthcare management, and positive health outcomes.