Primary care is care provided by a healthcare professional who helps you manage your day-to-day health. Primary care providers (PCPs) include doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. They all provide primary care at your yearly exam, or annual wellness checkup, as well as any time you are sick and need treatment.
Let’s talk about some of the key benefits of primary care, why family nurse practitioners are a great choice to be your PCP, and where you can go in Kent for total health and wellness for the whole family.
1. Primary Care Is Focused on Total Wellness
Because your primary care provider is charged with helping you achieve and maintain overall wellness, they will educate you about how you can stay healthy, so you are less likely to get sick. PCPs will treat their patients when they are sick, but they also focus on teaching patients healthy practices at annual checkups.
For instance, your PCP may explain why you should stop smoking, how to stop, and possibly prescribe medication to help you toward that goal. Another way they promote wellness is by prescribing screenings, like mammograms or bloodwork, to make sure you don’t have any undetected health problems. Many health issues do not cause obvious symptoms until they are in advanced stages, so screenings are key.
Most importantly, PCPs help you manage any long-term health problems you may have, like high blood pressure, diabetes, or depression. By helping you control your health instead of just seeing you when you are sick, PCPs help keep you healthy.
2. If You Need a Specialist, Your PCP Can Recommend One
PCPs help their patients manage underlying health conditions, and sometimes they may also recommend that you see a specialist if you need more specific care or advice.
For example, if your PCP thinks you or your child may have diabetes, they will refer you to an endocrinologist, which is a physician who specializes in hormone-related diseases. The endocrinologist will help you decide what insulin treatment plan is best for you, and your PCP will help you manage your treatment plan over the long term – while also making sure that you do not have other medications or health issues which may not react well with the new medication.
PCPs work with specialists to provide the highest standard of care for their patients, so you can always ask your PCP about which specialists they know and trust when looking for a specialist.
3. Primary Care Can Be Family-Oriented
One of the most convenient things about primary care is that PCPs are trained to provide healthcare for anyone, at any age. A PCP can perform annual wellness exams for you and your spouse, as well as annual exams for your children.
That way, one PCP cares for your whole family. This is particularly beneficial because many diseases run in families, so your PCP can monitor your children’s health, start treatment right away if or when they develop the disease (or preliminary indicators of the disease), and help them keep it under control.
4. Primary Care Provider Relationships Are Long-Term
Because PCPs see you at least once a year for your annual wellness exam, or a few times a year for children who are under two years old, you will develop a long-term professional relationship with them. This is important not only because it is key for a patient to trust their PCP, but because your PCP will know your health history better than anyone else. They can see how your health progresses over the years, and they can also help keep your kids healthy from birth and throughout adulthood.
5. Your PCP May Catch a Health Issue Before You Notice It
Sometimes, your health may be getting worse and you might not even be aware of it. For example, if you are having a lot of headaches, you may think it’s just because you’ve been really stressed at work and are not sleeping a lot. Your PCP will ask you about this at a wellness visit, and they will check you for signs of disease you may be at risk of developing because of your genetics, age, or health history. While headaches could be due to normal day-to-day stress, they could also be a sign of something more serious like high blood pressure.
By having regular wellness checkups, your PCP can monitor how your symptoms change over time. The provider can notice and treat any health problems you may be having that you had no idea about, which keeps you healthier overall.
6. Primary Care Lowers Your Overall Healthcare Costs
Studies have shown that people who have PCPs spend less money on healthcare and spend less time in the hospital. This is because their PCPs not only treat them when they are sick, but also focus on their wellness – so these patients aren’t sick as much as people who don’t have regular primary care. So, primary care saves you money in the long run.
7. PCPs Care About All Aspects of Your Health
Primary care providers care about more than just your physical ailments. They ask you about your life, whether you feel fulfilled socially, if your mental health is okay, and if you are facing any work-related issues. They know that all of these issues can affect your physical health, so they take a holistic approach when it comes to your health.
Primary Care Providers in Kent, WA
At FamilyCare of Kent, total wellness is the constant goal of our family nurse practitioners. We offer all seven of these benefits and much more, including sexual healthcare, travel medicine, and anything else our patients need.
We have four board-certified family nurse practitioners on staff who are eager to spend as much time as you need discussing your health and helping you feel more in control of your health and lifestyle.
To arrange an appointment with us, call us today at (253) 859-2273 or fill out our appointment request form. We look forward to being your primary resource for family-centered, high-quality healthcare!