Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC, and Matthew T. Reynolds, PA-C, shares clinical pearls for clinicians managing patients with plaque psoriasis.
Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: Matt, we’ve had this great, enriching conversation this evening. This has just been fantastic; I really appreciate it. What advice or practice pearls do you have for other APPs [advanced practice providers] managing patients with plaque psoriasis?
Matthew T. Reynolds, PA-C: This is a very global question, and I’m glad that you asked it. My number one pearl for all of the APPs that are out there just getting started, or maybe they’ve been in practice for a few years, is just be a true advocate for your patients. Try to put yourself in their shoes, no matter if it’s a plaque psoriasis patient or not. You need to always consider what is going to be the best for them. It may be best for you now to put them on a certain drug or a certain treatment, but I want you to consider all the variables that go along with the patient’s life. Think about how far it takes that patient to drive to your office, think about what they did to get to your care, if they waited 3 months or 6 months. Spend a little extra time with these people and just be more than what they expect you to be. Often, you’re going to find that these patients have not had a true advocate, they’ve not had a true person to be a fighter in their corner. That’s really where you, as the APP, have an opportunity to change the paradigm, change the treatment of that patient who’s coming to your office with plaque psoriasis. The other thing that I always tell everyone, especially as they’re just starting out, is to find someone who’s going to train you, find someone who’s really going to spend the time to make sure that you become a professional, that you become an expert in dermatology. That’s what you’re expecting from yourself, so don’t accept anything less. Find that person who’s going to take you to the next level in your career and you have a true opportunity, you have a true chance to make a difference in people’s lives. You get to see it because you practice in dermatology, but you’re going to feel it too if you exceed expectations from your patients. Those are my 2 main pearls. I think you and I both, because we’ve been at practice a while, could talk about this all night, but I really think those are the 2 main things that I want to impart upon our group listening.
Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: I agree with you so much, Matt. The one thing is that you continue to educate yourself, and every time I have students, no matter from which university, no matter if they’re MP [nursing director] or PA [physician assistant] students, they want to have a dermatologist experience. I’m more than happy to say, “Come.” In fact, next semester I have 3 students from 3 different universities, and I said, “We just have to arrange this so that everybody can have their time.” It’s crucial to support one another. Regarding those patients, yes, walking in their shoes. It never fails to really break my heart when I have patients who have come to me and they’ve had psoriasis for 10-plus years, they’ve been in several dermatology practices, and nobody has given them a jar of triamcinolone. They’re coming to see you, just like you said. They have driven, they’re hoping that someone will be able to help them to understand their physical, as well as their emotional, burden with this disease, which is a heavy burden disease. If you cannot help them and you don’t know how to help them, then find somebody who does. Resource them, help them because there are people who specialize in psoriasis and those who don’t. Dermatology practice is not always the same, but there are so many ways that we can educate one another and support one another and help these patients.
Matthew T. Reynolds, PA-C: You’re absolutely right, thank you for sharing that.
Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: Thank you, Matt. It has been an absolute pleasure to be with you here this evening.
Matthew T. Reynolds, PA-C: You as well. Thank you, Jayme, for having me.
Transcript edited for clarity