Valley News Forum for Friday, Nov. 17, 2023: Nursing care is good care

Published: 11-17-2023 3:02 PM

Nursing care is good care

The letter from Paul Cooker (Forum, Nov. 7) prompted us to respond regarding care he has received and future provider services at Gifford and Chelsea Health Centers. He brings up two issues that are addressed below:

First, he received excellent care at Chelsea Health Care from a provider he respects and trusts. It’s one of the most important aspects of a relationship between a provider and patient, and a key component of quality care. He is dismayed that Dr. Barber is leaving, and likely concerned with what comes next.

That loss is disconcerting and upsetting for him and his family, understandably. No argument here.

The second issue he brings up we disagree with. He equates the replacement of his provider with a nurse (nurse practitioner?) as inferior, shortsighted and a degradation of care. That is a factually incorrect assumption. Study upon study articulate equal outcomes in primary care, chronic disease management and family practice between physician and nurse practitioner care. (In fact, some outcomes favor nurse practitioner care). Care by a nurse practitioner is not a drop in level of quality or service, and extends service in rural areas such as Chelsea. His clinic employing a nurse practitioner puts care first. Nurse practitioners come with advanced schooling and training to provide primary care, care that is most often guideline driven, not dependent on a physician provider to order and interpret testing, suggest immunizations, etc.

Know that nurse practitioners and physician assistants have been providing excellent service and treatment to patients at the Gifford Medical Center for many years and Mr. Cooker should realize he will receive superb care.

Your concern about degradation of nurturing is unfounded. Nurturing care is person dependent, not role dependent. There are great physicians; there are great nurses. We hope your new provider comes with knowledge to perform their job professionally, and has a nurturing, caring personality to make even the worst medicine taste better. Open your mind to that possibility.

Virginia Beggs


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The writers are both advanced practice registered nurses

GOP aids the rich

Fifty years ago, we learned the famous line “Follow the money,” and it still explains everything about the Republican party. The GOP never deviates from its decades-long, very successful campaign to take more from the poor and enrich the rich. They never get enough, and yet continue advocating to reduce IRS funding so they can avoid their fair share of income, social security and capital gains taxes, as well as pushing corporate tax rates lower.

But wait, there’s more: Today, in New Hampshire, we read, “GOP balks at expense of (a more generous) lunch program” for needy kids enrolled in Medicare (Valley News Nov. 11).” Really?

If all this seems wrong, change will only start by voters turning out for Democratic candidates.

Michael Whitman