FAQ - PAs and NPs

Our Physician Assistants and Nurse Practioners are considered Advanced Practice Providers (APPs). The key members of the Northern Arizona Orthopaedics' team, and help our patients along a path of recovery and mobility, through any of our five Specialty Centers. They enhance the level of care and experience we provide at Northern Arizona Orthopaedics.

Q: What is the role of an APP at NAO?

A: Our Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) are Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs). They are key members of our medical team. They help our Specialty Centers run efficiently and smoothly but mostly, they provide expert medical care to our patients daily. Our PAs and NPs specialize in every musculoskeletal area of the body.

Q: What kind of things can PAs and NPs do?

A: Our Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are licensed and certified in Arizona to:

  • Take health history
  • Examine patients
  • Order tests
  • Read imaging results
  • Diagnose injuries
  • Prescribe medications
  • Develop treatment plans
  • Provide scheduled follow-up care
  • Assist in surgery
  • Assist with non-surgical procedures
  • Visit patients in the hospital

Q: Aren't PAs just "physician's assistants"?

A: PAs (and NPs) are licensed medical providers – they do much more than simply "assist." They assist the physician in the total management of your care – from diagnosing, examining, treating, and helping in surgery. This team approach ensures you always receive the best care possible, from start to finish. It's comprehensive care.

Q: What are the benefits of using APPs?

A: Patients benefit because they receive care from experienced, highly trained, skilled orthopaedic experts. You are seen sooner by an APP than if you were to wait for a visit with the doctor. Too, our patients develop a trust with their PA/NP just like they develop a trust with their doctor.

Doctors benefit because they trust APPs to care for you. They trust in their insight and appreciate the collaboration.

Q: What type of training and education do APPs have?

A: Physician Assistants (PAs) are nationally certified, state-licensed healthcare providers with either a master's or advanced college degree. After a rigorous training, they must pass a national certifying exam. They must re-certify every 10 yrs. in addition to completing 100 hrs. of Continuing Medical Education every 2 yrs.

To gain Nurse Practitioner (NP) licensure, you must earn a master's degree in nursing (MSN) and pass the exam to become a licensed registered nurse. Once graduated then must pass state boards and then, in most cases pass national certification. Most states also require continuing medical education. NP's typically have very extensive medical training and experience even prior to becoming an NP, which specialize in certain fields. NAO's two Nurse Practitioners are Steve Randazzo, FNP and Susan Ward, FNP.

Q: Who are the Advanced Practice Professionals at NAO?

A: Our PAs and NPs are important and valued members of your care team. We are sure you will find the same level of trust in them as we do!

The NAO APP team knows orthopaedics! Our patients remind us daily how much they appreciate the skilled team of PAs and NPs who care for them with such expertise.