Monica Richey, MSN, NP, on How to Differentiate Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and SLE

In this video, Monica Richey, MSN, NP, discusses ways to differentiate rheumatologic conditions, which is a topic she is presenting at our Practical Updates in Primary Care 2021 Virtual Series on May 13.

Monica Richey, MSN, NP, is an adult rheumatology nurse practitioner at Northwell Health in Long Island, New York. 

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Monica Richey: My name is Monica Richey. I'm a nurse practitioner here at Northwell Health. I work in the Department of Rheumatology, and I've been working in rheumatology for the last 15 years.

In the sessions, what we learn is to differentiate rheumatoid arthritis from psoriatic arthritis and SLE. Those are the three most commons. We also learn what the physical examination looks like, what the physical presentation, which diseases can be based on physical examination, and which diseases must be based in physical examination and labs together.

We overview the medications most commonly used, side effects of the medications, and medications interactions there are between our medications and some overlap with the primary cares. We will also talk about infection risk and how to prepare patients for the biologics. We also learn about research that's being done, and how many more medications are coming in.

Where we're looking for in rheumatology is safer drugs with less side effects and that benefits the patients' quality of life. Patients are rather more interested in their quality of life and what side effects of the medications will be, so we need to zoom in and more of what the patient part of the treatment is.

We're looking into research that looks into patient‑centered decision‑making processes for some of our most challenging diseases.

Thank you for being here with me today. I hope you learned a little bit more about our complex diseases. I also like to share that the primary care is significantly important for our patients.

When the patient has a great relationship with the primary care and we are able to collaborate together, treatment is easier. Patients are more likely to be compliant, understanding their disease. Also, it helps that the primary care is on board on what we are doing as well.