Adulting 101: Get a primary care provider
Deana Freeman, ANP
Having a primary care provider, or PCP, is one of the most important things you can do as an adult.
No, the emergency department doctor cannot be your PCP. They don’t know your health history, and they can’t access your health records. They will address your immediate needs and send you on your way – often telling you to follow up with your PCP.
What is a PCP?
Primary care providers focus on holistic care. We bring all the bits and pieces of your medical history and overall health together and keep it all in one place.
Primary care providers schedule regular appointments to help manage chronic diseases, identify problems early, and address any health concerns that may pop up such as seasonal colds, flu, infections, and routine recommended screenings. Your PCP can also help facilitate and coordinate appointments with specialists such as rheumatologists, dermatologists, etc.
These screenings, many of which can be lifesaving in the early detection of cancer, include:
- blood pressure checks
- pap smears
- colorectal cancer screenings
In addition, we:
- make sure you are up to date on your immunizations
- refill your medications, but we don’t JUST refill your medications
- help you understand the root cause of chronic illness and how, together, we can help you become the healthiest version of yourself without adding one more pill to the mix
- educate, communicate, advocate
- build relationships
- Learn about you, your health history, your family
As primary care providers, we value who you are as a person, not just as a patient.
If you have already mastered Adulting 101 and already have a PCP, schedule your annual checkup today. And if you don’t? Find a primary care provider today and take charge of your health!
Deana Freeman is an adult nurse practitioner with a clinical focus on treating people from adolescents through adult ages and into advanced age. She provides care to the residents of Florence county and the surrounding areas at the HopeHealth Medical Plaza in Florence.