Child care is one of the most important things facing parents of new born’s. Making sure you choose the right doctor for your child care needs is crucial to child development. Having a baby is an exciting and hectic time for most parents. However, along with considering baby names and furniture, finding the right child care provider is paramount.
When it comes to child care, there are three main physician categories you should consider:
- Family Physicians
- Pediatric nurse practitioners
Making sure your child care provider falls into one of these categories is the first step.
Pediatricians and Child Care
A pediatricians main focus is the physical, emotional, and social well being of the child from birth through adolescence. They typically provide preventative medical child care.Pediatricians complete 4 years of medical school followed by 3 years or pediatric residency.
A pediatrician must pass a written examination given by the American Board of Pediatrics to become board certified. Pediatricians must take exams every 7 years to keep up to date with the changes in pediatric child care. Pediatricians must also take a certain number of CME or continuing medial education courses.
This must be done in the state where they practice. Some pediatric doctors have sub-specialty training in other areas. These areas can be in cardiology, emergency or critical care medicine, and hematology. It takes 3 years of additional training to be board certified in their sub-specialty.
Family Physicians and Child Care
Family physicians must complete 3 years of residency after medical school. Their areas include pediatrics, orthopedics, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. They spend several months training in each area. After which they become certified by taking an examination from the American Board of Family Medicine.
Because family physicians train in many areas, they came take care of patients of all ages. This means your child could have the same doctor from birth through adulthood. In addition, all members of your family could receive health care from one doctor.
Also, because family physicians can administer child care from birth, they can detect emotional problems as you child grows. It is important to ask about age policies when seeking out a family physician. Nonetheless, family physicians provide excellent child care services.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Child Care
A PNP or pediatric nurse practitioner has a master’s degree not a doctor’s degree. They can perform physical examination on children and take their medical histories. They can also write prescriptions, and make medical diagnosis on children. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners can also provide treatment and counseling as a part of their child care services.
PNP’s like pediatricians can specialize in certain areas of medicine like neurology or endocrinology. They work closely with doctors in private practice, hospitals, and clinics. Some parents might think twice about using a PNP thinking that they are not as well trained as regular doctors.
These concerns are unwarranted. Most parents find that pediatric nurse practitioner’s spend more time with them talking about health and child care issues. And, if a PNP encounters a more complex medical problem they are trained to counsel with a physician.
Finding the right child care provider need not be difficult. However, you will need to do your research and find out what you are looking for in a child care provider.