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Practicing Clinicians Exchange Forms Partnership With Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation
Date:5/6/2009

STAMFORD, Conn., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Practicing Clinicians Exchange (PCE) has formed a partnership with the Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Foundation to provide continuing education programs to nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) throughout the United States.

The partnership capitalizes on the strengths of both organizations. The RLS Foundation is a leader in advocacy and research in RLS, and PCE is the national leader in providing continuing education focused solely on the needs of NPs and PAs.

It is estimated that 1 in every 10 Americans suffers from RLS. The disease is characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs combined with unpleasant sensations in the legs. Symptoms often occur at night, disrupting sleep and causing a reduced quality of life. RLS occurs frequently, yet the disease is not well understood by the public or clinicians. Effective screening and symptom recognition should be a focus of primary care clinicians to reduce the burden of this disease.

With the US population aging and fewer physicians practicing primary care, the country is facing a healthcare emergency of too many patients and too few doctors. NPs and PAs are instrumental in solving this crisis by filling the primary care role once solely held by physicians. This has led to a primary care tipping point, with NPs and PAs collectively numbering over 200,000, and increasing by more than 14,000 per year.

Georgianna Bell, executive director of the RLS Foundation, sees NPs and PAs as having vital roles in the identification and management of RLS: "NPs and PAs provide patient-centered care that allows them to recognize RLS symptoms and appreciate the impact of the condition on those who suffer from it. With awareness and education about RLS continuing to grow, we're pleased to be working with PCE to educate this emerging segment of healthcare practitioners on a national scale."

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SOURCE Practicing Clinicians Exchange
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