Urgent care NP sends patient off to the ED to get a cardiac stent

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We can feel our troponins rising after reading this tale of sheer midlevel stupidity.

Video dramatization

You have to be a really, really special kind of stupid to think that a patient whose EKG shows a first-degree AV block is in need of emergent cardiac catheterization and stent placement. Of course, there's no shortage of newly minted diploma mill nurse practitioners to fit that description. Is it really that surprising, when most NP graduates barely get any quantifiable amount of formal training in cardiology and EKG interpretation?

By contrast, you rarely, if ever see medical students making such mind-blowing statements. It's highly unlikely a medical student could score well on the USMLE without demonstrating at least basic proficiency in EKG interpretation, and certainly, there's no way in hell a resident in an emergency medicine or internal medicine residency program would be allowed to graduate without knowing how to comprehensively read an EKG. When you're out in the real world and lives are literally on the lines, you damn well better be able to tell the difference between a potentially fatal STEMI and a benign first-degree AV block. While in this case the NP's mistake likely resulted only in a waste of time (along with the financial inconvenience to the patient of having to deal with the bills for an unnecessary ED visit and ambulance ride), one can only imagine what would happen in the opposite situation where a braindead midlevel provider fails completely to recognize a STEMI on a patient's EKG.