Use of nurse practitioners in major accident and emergency (A&E) departments is rapidly increasing: currently they are used in 30% of such departments and this is expected to rise to 63% by the end of 1995. Most are trained by a formal programme in the employing hospital but 12% claim to have no formal training. The nurse practitioner could prescribe a limited range of drugs in 82% of major departments with 'official' nurse practitioners, but radiograph requesting was permitted in only 57% of such departments: of those not able to request radiographs, 95% blamed radiographers for preventing this.
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