NELA mental health patients without care, psychiatric nurses seek collaborating physician

NELA mental health patients without care, psychiatric nurses seek collaborating physician

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Psychiatric nurse practitioners in northeast Louisiana are unable to treat patients after the death of a Monroe psychiatrist this week, leaving hundreds of patients in the area looking for from a new supplier.

In Louisiana, nurse practitioners are required by law to have a collaborating physician to practice psychiatry.

The local psychiatrist, who died this week, worked with several psychiatric nurse practitioners in the area. The absence of a physician can impact every patient of the nurse practitioner with whom a physician collaborates, whether through resignation or unexpected death.

Hundreds of patients in northeast Louisiana are now in immediate need of a new mental health care provider and nurse practitioners are looking for a replacement.

“And then we’re on our own to find another collaborator,” says Crissi Brooks, a psychiatric nurse practitioner with FCB Psychiatric Services. “So in this particular case, we’re talking about mental health, and Louisiana, the entire state, is considered a mental health shortage area, which means we’re already short of psychiatrists.”

It may take a month or several months to find a new doctor before a psychiatric nurse can continue to practice.

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