As we learned in class today, antibiotic stewardship is an important part of our role as providers. This can be a challenge because patients demand it and our colleagues often overprescribe antibiotics. Overprescribing can be related to provider insecurity about a diagnosis and the patient’s course of illness (cover EVERYTHING just in case), or a desire to please patients and achieve higher patient satisfaction scores. In addition, the media plays a role in advising the public that such medications are necessary.
For this post, think about the topic at a deeper level. We all know the CDC has information sheets for patients /providers teaching them about the dangers of overprescribing antibiotics. Think about your role as a new NP. You may work in a with other providers who overprescribe, how can you make changes as a new NP at the practice? Or you may face lower patient satisfaction scores because you only prescribe when necessary. These will impact your annual review and can also lower annual bonuses (if you’re lucky to get that kind of position!). You can explore innovative ways to educate patients and their families. Additionally, you can also look at the problem from a policy perspective and how you can support change at that level.