P.M.H.N.P. - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. This is an advanced practice nurse with extra years of education focused on disorders that effect a person’s emotions, thinking, or behaviors. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners are qualified to evaluate, diagnose, prescribe medications, and provide psychotherapy. In Oregon, Nurse Practitioners are able to practice independently and bill insurance companies directly.
M.D. / D.O. - A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.). A Psychiatrist has completed all of the studies needed to be licensed as a Physician. They then go on for further years of education to specialize in disorders that effect a person’s emotions, thinking, or behaviors. Psychiatrists evaluate, diagnose, prescribe medication and provide psychotherapy. Some are further qualified to do more complex psychiatric interventions such as electroconvulsive therapy (E.C.T.)
P.A. - Physician’s Assistant. P.A.s are medical professionals who work as part of a team in concert with a physician. P.A.s examine, diagnose, and treat disorders within their area of specialty and with the supervision of a physician. P.A.s take at least two years of college courses similar to what one would take for pre-med. They then go on to a P.A. program where they have additional, on average 27 months, of rigorous education and training.
PhD / PsyD - A Psychologist may have either a doctorate degree in psychology (PsyD) or a doctorate degree in philosophy (PhD) focused on psychology. In practice, the degrees are very similar. Psychologists have training in mental health disorders, developmental disorders, and the administration and interpretation of sophisticated psychological tests. Psychologists gather information to diagnose disorders and they may also provide psychotherapy.
What is the different between the care that you will receive from a Psychiatrist and the care that you will receive from a P.M.H.N.P.?
Both can evaluate, diagnose, prescribe medications and provide psychotherapy. In both cases the professionals have devoted additional years studying their area of specialty and are eminently qualified to diagnose and treat people with mental health concerns.
Patient education is a cornerstone of nursing care, including Nurse Practitioners. P.M.H.N.P.’s are trained to approach their patient from a holistic perspective – mind, body, and spirit - and to take all three of these areas into consideration when working with the patient to develop and carry out a plan of care or treatment.