Your ARC care team includes advanced practice clinicians (APCs)

Your ARC care team includes advanced practice clinicians (APCs)

Did you know that when you make an appointment at ARC, you also have the option of seeing an APC who works closely with our physicians as part of the ARC health care team?

What is an APC?

At ARC, we have two types of APCs:

  • Nurse practitioner (NP): All NPs must complete a master's or doctoral degree program and have advanced clinical training beyond their initial professional registered nurse (RN) preparation. Didactic and clinical courses prepare nurses with specialized knowledge and clinical competency to practice in primary care, acute care, and long-term healthcare settings.
  • Physician assistant (PA): A physician assistant (PA) must complete a master's degree and have received extensive college coursework in general medicine plus hands-on clinical training in all facets of patient care, including the development of treatment plans, care coordination, and assisting with surgeries. Like an APRN, a PA may have added credentials following their name, indicating specialized or advanced training.

How to tell the difference between a physician and an APC when making an appointment

When making an appointment, you will see that the names of those available will be followed by letters. Those letters are called credentials and indicate the training for that physician or APC. You will see MD or DO for a physician, sometimes followed by even more letters indicating specialized and advanced training.

For an APC, you will also see letters indicating their training. A nurse practitioner will always have APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) after their name in the state of Texas, and a physician assistant will always have a PA after their name.

What services can an APC provide?

As part of the medical team, APCs work in collaboration with physicians and provide a wide range of services, including:

  • taking health histories
  • performing physical examinations, including women's health exams
  • making health assessments
  • treating minor and serious illnesses
  • managing chronic illnesses
  • recommending and interpreting appropriate diagnostic tests, including lab work, imaging, and other necessary testing
  • developing individual health care plans and services, including writing prescriptions or ordering medical equipment when indicated
  • making referrals to specialists or other needed services
  • counseling and providing emotional support
  • chronic condition management

Why you might want to see an APC

Nationally, APCs receive high patient satisfaction survey scores. After seeing an APC, patients frequently request future appointments with the APC for routine care. Seeing an APC can be a suitable choice for various health care needs.

Their medical education, degrees, and training emphasize patient education, preventative care, and chronic illness management. This allows APCs to provide a wide spectrum of high-quality care that places the patient at the center and is focused on treating the whole patient.

Make an appointment today

No matter your needs or preferences, it's important to establish a home base for health care purposes. Being comfortable and having a good, trusting relationship with your physician or APC is what matters most. When you find that person, stick with them and see them regularly.

To make an appointment at ARC, log into your MyChart account or visit our website to get started. And remember, look before you book!

Tags: Advanced Practice Clinicians (APCs), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Physician Assistant (PA)