Learn About Being a Physician Assistant in 2022

Physician Assistant Jobs – Physician assistants (PA) are highly-qualified and licensed professionals who work in a variety of medical settings. PA jobs can be found in a variety of hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities. Because PA jobs are often within the same hospital or clinic as the doctor who is treating the patient, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to learn about and work with patients. In addition, PA jobs can help you get your education while working in a supportive environment.

Physician Assistant Jobs - What Does a Physician Assistant Do?

Physician Assistant Jobs

There are many physician assistants out there, but finding the right one is hard. And it’s not just because of the high salary and benefits. It’s also difficult to find physicians who are interested in PA roles. That’s why it’s important to find a qualified PA and to learn as much as you can about the profession. In this blog post, we will introduce you to some of the best PA programs in America. We will also provide you with some information about the job market and what PA jobs offer.

Related: Learn About Being a Physician

Physician assistants are health care professionals who work as assistants to physicians. They provide patient care, manage clinic operations, and perform other tasks in the office of the physician. There are many different types of physician assistant jobs, including primary care, pediatric care, family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and psychiatry. If you’re interested in a career as a physician assistant, there are several ways to become a part of the medical community. You can attend school to get your medical degree, or you can work as a doctor’s assistant for a while and then apply to become a physician.

What does it take to be a physician assistant?

Physicians assistants are a vital part of the medical community. They help doctors by providing administrative and clinical support. In addition to their duties as physicians assistants, many PA’s enjoy a career in health care administration or health care law. As a doctor assistant, you have many opportunities to work in the medical field.

As a physician assistant, you may be interested in learning about the medical field and its various aspects. However, there are a few things that you may not know about physician assistants. For example, many of the laws that apply to physicians assistants are the same as those that apply to other medical professionals. In addition, physician assistants often work with patients in the doctor’s office and have access to all of the same patient care tools and resources as physicians.

What does a physician assistant do?

A physician assistant or physician associate (PA) is a health care professional who is licensed to diagnose and treat medical illnesses and conditions under the supervision of a licensed physician. This collaboration between PA and physician can occur remotely through electronic methods when the PA needs assistance with a consultation. Physician assistants can work in doctors’ offices, hospitals and clinics, with the scope of their practice varying by healthcare setting. Learn About Being a Physician

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The relationship between the physician and the physician assistant complements and encourages the delivery of superb levels of patient care. A physician assistant requires an advanced level of education that mirrors the education of a physician. To practice as a physician assistant, you must be certified and licensed by your state. This means the PA can care for patients with substantial freedom.

Duties of a physician assistant could include:

  • Performing physical examinations

  • Taking the patient’s medical history

  • Ordering laboratory tests, scans and X-rays and interpreting the results

  • Diagnosing illnesses and conditions

  • Prescribing medicines

  • Providing counseling to patients

  • Supporting surgical staff during procedures

  • Setting fractures

  • Stitching wounds

Average salary

Physician assistants work in various health care settings that include hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices. They usually work full-time hours, but this could be spread over a rotating shift if the work is in urgent care, nursing homes or out-of-hours clinics. Higher salaries are found in the private sector and are also dependent on the location, size of the employer and experience of the candidate. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link.

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  • Common salary in the U.S.: $105,614 per year

  • Some salaries range from $33,000 to $215,000 per year.

Physician assistant requirements

There are several requirements physician assistants must fulfill:

Education

To practice as a physician assistant, you must first gain a bachelor’s degree. Majoring in a science or healthcare-related field will provide you with the best background for your advanced study. Typical undergraduate courses in health science include ethics, statistics, research methods, medical terminology, human physiology and anatomy and possibly pharmacology.

Once you earn your bachelor’s degree, you must pursue an advanced course of study, which is typically a two-year master’s physician assistant program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Physician Assistant Education Association publishes a list of PA programs.

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To be eligible for course enrollment, you must first have a minimum of three years of health care experience or 2,000 clinical hours. For this reason, it is advisable to earn a bachelor’s degree that can lead to employment in a health care profession, such as a bachelor’s of nursing or paramedic science.

The physician assistant program covers theoretical classes and clinical practice. Students take courses in anatomy and physiology, pathology, clinical medicine, pharmacology and prescribing, medical laws and ethics, biochemistry, biology, genetics and microbiology, statistics, psychology and technical writing.

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A second possible route to becoming a physician assistant is to pursue a physician assistant bachelor’s degree (BA-PA). This option will save time and money, but the course is not as readily available.

Training

Physician assistants receive training through their educational programs and relevant work experiences, such as clinical hours, residencies or internships. Training familiarizes new physician assistants with the sector of patients, the type of pathology and the working practices of a hospital or clinic. You must complete training in health and safety protocol, reporting findings, standard operating procedures, appointment systems, managing patient files and notes, prescribing procedures and any other information essential to the role.

Certifications

Once a potential physician assistant completes the PA program, they must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). The examination consists of 300 multiple-choice questions over five hours. These questions assess your medical, surgical and scientific knowledge. Candidates are permitted to take the test no more than six times over six years. If they are not successful during this period, they will attend another ARC-PA educational program before attempting the exam again.

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The status of certification is ongoing, and PAs must take the Physician Assistant National Re-certifying Exam (PANRE) at least every six years to remain eligible for their certification status. The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) can help you to prepare for the examination with a range of mock exams. You must also log a minimum of 100 hours of continuing education every two years.

You must also apply for state licensure once you have your certification. Check to see exactly what the requirements are in your state, as they vary.

Skills

A physician assistant must promote and maintain the health of their patients. There is a range of skills that they need for the role:

  • Communication: Verbal and written communication skills are vital to this role. You need to convey whatever information is necessary to team members and patients with clarity and compassion.

  • Teamwork: You will be working closely with a physician who supervises you and other healthcare team members.  It is important to work together and support each other to provide high-level patient care.

  • Strategic thinking and problem solving: In a fast-moving hospital environment, there are times when you will need to think of alternate methods and plans to reach your goal. When many patients are admitted simultaneously, you must strategize how to reach the most critical patients first.

  • Emotional intelligence: There will be situations when you will utilize empathy and tact to deliver difficult messages to patients.

  • Attention to detail: You will be prescribing medication, taking patient medical histories and making physical examinations. You will need to ensure tasks are accurately performed. You should notice everything that is happening with your patients.

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Physician assistant work environment

Physician assistants usually work in a patient-facing role. Schedules and work hours can vary widely depending on the sector and may also depend on the hours of the supervising physician. Shifts may be rotating and cover nights, weekends and holidays. They may also need to be on the emergency call rota.

Usually, the clinic or hospital will have an administration office where the physician assistant will work alongside other team members to complete administration tasks.

A physician assistant will encounter these environmental characteristics during their workday:

  • Extended periods standing

  • Bending and reaching for equipment

  • Exposure to infectious materials

  • High level of interpersonal contact

How to become a physician assistant

Being a physician assistant is a rewarding career that is increasing in demand. These are the steps to take toward obtaining the position:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree. The path to being a physician assistant starts with earning a bachelor’s degree. Choosing a healthcare field makes it easier to gain clinical experience in your career progression.

  2. Complete work experience. You will need to gain employment in the health industry. Consider becoming a nurse or physiotherapist and logging the clinic hours you need.

  3. Gain your certification and licensure. Complete your two-year PA program, pass the certification exam and apply for your state license. Check with your state to see what the requirements are.

  4. Develop your soft skills: To prepare for a physician assistant career, communication, problem-solving skills and attention to detail must be exceptional. Aim to develop these skills during your educational programs and work experience.

  5. Create a resume: Your resume could be the key to securing employment in your chosen field. Make sure yours includes all your clinic work, education, experience and qualifications. A great resume is the first step in your successful career search.

  6. Apply for positions: Once you have sufficient experience, qualifications and a license, you should apply for suitable positions. You may prove yourself in a smaller clinic before moving up to larger hospitals and organizations.

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Physician Assistant Jobs description example

At State Health, we are a team. We want to work together to find the best way of caring for our patients. We are hiring a physician assistant to help our physicians to deliver world-class patient care. Your responsibilities will include shadowing our physicians as they make ward rounds and assisting in the medical care and management of patients. You must enjoy interacting with patients, as you will be performing physical exams, wound care, injections and talking through any information with them.

Requirements:

  • PA certification and state licensure

  • Two years of experience as a PA or nurse

  • Responsible team player

  • Committed to excellence

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