Trained nurses and general practitioners (GPs) were equally competent care for common health issues, according to a Spanish study in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
For 1461 adult patients at 38 practices, researchers found that nurses successfully resolved more than 86 percent of cases, a rate that was similar to that of GPs.
For nearly 3 out of 4 cases, nurses did not need to consult the GP. Nurses were most successful in treating cases of burns, injuries, and acute diarrhea. They were more likely to refer cases requiring complex physical examinations to the GP, including those involving low back pain, acute mild upper respiratory tract symptoms.
“The fact that nurses resolve certain reasons for consultation with the same security as GPs, could allow better and more efficient management of the demand for care,” the authors wrote.