Practical Management of Atopic Dermatitis: Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Perspectives - Episode 14

Atopic Dermatitis: Partnering With Patients for Best Outcomes

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The importance of partnering with patients who have atopic dermatitis to best support them throughout their long-term journey with the condition.

Keri Holyoak, PA-C, MPH: That brings up a really good point, because as they get clearer, I think at times [patients] often forget they have this condition. Our role is for our patients to wake up in the morning and forget that they suffer from atopic dermatitis. They start to incorporate some of those irritants that they think, “Oh, now I can use,” because their skin is clear and they just forget. It’s trial and error, and our role as advanced practitioners is to be their advocate. This is a journey; we’re not going to just see each other once. I need a commitment, a partnership with them, and I’m going to do all that I can to help them. There may be things along the way that may cause the natural biology of the disease to cause progression, but it’s long term, chronic, and it takes time. I empower my patient to know that we’re in this together and I want them to ask questions along the way. If our patients can find health care professionals who will be partners with them in managing this condition, there’s trust and communication. I’m doing all I can on my part and trust that my patient is not going to be afraid to open up and share their story with me, and they are coming prepared to each appointment with questions and concerns. They trust that I am keeping them informed as to the latest treatment options and updates. I love when my patients bring their medications with them during each visit so I can see exactly what they’re using and how much they’ve used since the last visit. It’s this understanding of their history and goals and being in an alliance together. If we do that, we will get much better outcomes.

Melodie Young, MSN, RN, ANP-C: The bulk of what we need to discuss in this final segment is the role of advanced practice providers, of the NPs [nurse practitioners] and PAs [physician assistants] in the dermatology community, and our opportunity and impact on patients. I would like to know how the consultation goes in your clinic with your patients. Do they make an appointment specifically with you, and then you move through the diagnosis and the prescribing part of it and the education? Do you do it all?

Keri Holyoak, PA-C, MPH: Yes, that is correct. They schedule an appointment with me, and I’m along for the journey with them. I’ve practiced for 15 years, and some of my most cherished lessons have been rooted in my patient relationships because I listen, and I take the time to listen. Because I have the fortunate experience of being able to practice in the same office for that entire time, those relationships I’ve developed have been amazing. My patients are my family, and I treat them as such. It makes me look forward to going to work each day. I think because I have that partnership, there’s this trust and level of appreciation. They know I’m going to be straight with them, they’re going to be straight with me, and we’re in it together.

Melodie Young, MSN, RN, ANP-C: Thank you for watching this HCPLive® Peer Exchange. If you enjoyed the content, please subscribe to our e-newsletters to receive upcoming Peer Exchange segments and other great content right in your inbox.

Transcript Edited for Clarity