Being a physician assistant can be quite stressful, as it requires hard work and vast medical knowledge. However, this career comes with many great benefits for those that are interested in it. Let’s take a look at a physician assistant’s duties and what to expect from this profession.
Physician Assistants, What Are They?
A physician assistant (PA) is a licensed healthcare expert who provides direct patient care as well as carrying out various physician duties. In the mid-1960s, there was a heavy primary physician care shortage in the U.S. To solve this issue, the physician assistant designation was created. Each physician assistant is required to earn an advanced degree prior to their practice. Even though they may perform the same tasks as a physician, they have to be under the supervision of someone who has a physician job.
These highly skilled medical professionals still play a vital role in the U.S. healthcare workforce. With their help. The healthcare system has become wildly versatile, medical efficiency has increased drastically, and many provider shortage problems have been solved without much effort. Currently, the United States has over 100,000 certified physician assistants, according to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant. Also, there are a couple of reasons that make people prefer being a PA over a doctor, so you should definitely consider getting into this profession.
More often than not, physician assistants provide the same services as traditional medical doctors. Some notable services that a physician assistant provides are: assisting surgeries, therapeutic remediation, diagnostic evaluations, and prescribing pharmaceutical medications. They are required to be able to work in almost all settings and specialties. This is why physician assistant jobs are extremely valuable nowadays. The duties and responsibilities of a PA normally include:
- Making rounds and performing patient exams
- Order and interpret tests
- Administer immunizations
- Doing interviews and examinations in order to determine the right diagnosis for the patient
- Diagnosing and treat illnesses
- Stitch wounds and set bones
- Giving surgery assistance
- Conduct physical examinations
- Write prescriptions
- Gain background and medical’s history of patients
- Provide prescription medications
- Offer advice on lifestyle changes to prevent future medical problems
- Manage and develop precise plans to treat patients
- Perform various test to determine the type of and extent of illnesses and injuries
- Organize and interpret X-rays and medical tests
- Advise patients on preventive care and other health practices
- Keep and track patient records
- Provide various legal and medical documents for insurance companies
Physician assistants are able to excel in every aspect of medicine because they have the opportunity to work alongside a professional physician. This makes a PA a very versatile medical profession, they can vary in roles, specialties, and many sub-specialty areas. PA can even choose to specialize in one or a few areas throughout their career, such as:
- Family medicine
- Psychiatry/mental health
- Emergency medicine
- Internal medicine
- Emergency medicine
- General practice
- General surgery
- Obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN)
Physician assistant is a vital profession in every healthcare facility, as they are always needed, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. If you are interested in patient care, have the ability to solve problems, and are able to work under pressure, then this career might just be for you.