People travel from all over Long Island and beyond to the Northport Wellness Center for holistic health care and education for themselves and their loved ones. We recently sat down with Northport Wellness Center Board Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Jennifer Zethner, to get her perspective on the difference between conventional medicine and holistic health care and why she is so passionate about being a nurse practitioner.
Q & A with Northport Wellness Center Nurse Practitioner, Jennifer Zethner
What is the difference between a Medical Doctor and Nurse Practitioner?
Physicians and nurse practitioners are different in how they are educated and in their philosophical approach to care. Physicians are in school longer and their focus is on the study of disease. Many if not most nurse practitioners are already skilled and experienced registered nurses before going on for advanced education and training in advanced practice. A nurse practitioner’s training focuses on health education, risk identification and reduction, and preventive care through lifestyle modification.
What motivated you personally to want to practice holistic versus conventional medicine?
There are so many examples of conventional medicine falling short to address modern health conditions. Conventional medicine is a big slow moving machine that does not change course easily or quickly. Prescribing a pharmaceutical medication for every patient condition is not the way I wanted to practice. There are so many natural remedies that can be utilized before even considering a pharmaceutical solution. Even more importantly, conventional medicine addresses symptoms while holistic medicine works to uncover and address the root cause.
There appears to be a trend in parents choosing nurse practitioners to provide health care for their children. Why do you think this is?
As medicine becomes harder to access for patients mainly because medical providers are being forced to see more and more patients in the same amount of time, parents are looking for a medical provider that will spend more time with them. After all, a family's health history can be a complicated and detailed puzzle to solve. The average medical doctor is seeing six to eight patients an hour. In most practices, the patient is spending more time with the medical technician and administrative staff than they are with the doctor. Furthermore, parents don't have time to be returning to the doctor's office again and again but if your doctor only spends 8-9 minutes with you, you're often left having to return many times. Nurse practitioners generally can spend more time with the patient but in many conventional practices even nurse practitioners are more squeezed for time than they ever have been before.
What benefits are presented by choosing a holistic nurse practitioner for children's health care vs. a traditional/conventional pediatric provider?
Holistic providers will work to uncover the root cause of a health issue versus only treating the symptoms. Parents become participants in the ongoing process to keep their children healthy by feeding them healthier or more appropriate foods, using different household products, changing a child's schedule or bedtime routine, etc.
What is your philosophy on children's health care?
*To guide families towards wellness by first avoiding common obstacles that can lead to dis-ease, such as the over use of prescription and over the counter medications and over exposure to environmental toxins.
*To support a parents right to play an active role in the health of their child.
* To utilize a child’s innate ability to heal with the proper support.
What is your philosophy on parent's involvement in their child's health?
Parents want to understand how to keep their child healthy, not just take them to the doctor when they are sick. This process will vary with each family, which is why it's so important to spend time with the parent(s) in order to understand the complete picture. If I understand the 'whole' picture, I can effectively teach the parents how to participate in the process.
Top three reasons to choose a holistic pediatric nurse practitioner are:
- Focus on preventative care.
- Take an active role in your children's care.
- Opportunity to heal with natural remedies before pharmaceuticals.
Are you interested in having your child see Northport Wellness Center nurse practitioner, Jennie Zethner? Contact the Northport Wellness Center at (631) 262-8505 or visit www.northportwellnesscenter.com.