First Contact Practitioner #2

I’ve been working as an FCP for just over a week. Of course, it’s all training and supervision to begin with but I thought I’d bring a few insights into the role. 

Patients

The patient group is diverse with lots of acute presentations but also some chronic. Last week I saw a ruptured biceps tendon for the first time. One patient was referred for DVT investigations and I viewed a few injections which was interesting. Other than that it’s plantar fascitis, acute back pain and lots of shoulder pain as a quick summary! 

The FCP role

This role is just what I was looking for. It will really enhance my diagnostic reasoning and treatment planning. It’s great to be able to see the medical history and radiology immediately from the computer system. Ultimately the choice with each patient is what to do with them – provide appropriate self-care advice and exercise progressions, refer into physio, order x-ray, MRI or blood tests, or refer to the GP or for specialist rheumatology, orthopaedics or neurologist advice. 

I’ve got lots of mandatory training to work through. I’m also doing e-IRMERs for radiology referrals. As a newby to the NHS there’s a lot to do to get all the IT and systems set-up but we are getting there! 

Clinical tip: 

All acute low back pain patients leave with advice about cauda equina syndrome – here’s a link to the advice in lots of different languages – https://www.eoemskservice.nhs.uk/advice-and-leaflets/lower-back/cauda-equina  

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