Physician Assistant Jobs
The health care industry is one of the largest industries in the United States. As the baby boomer population ages and the world’s population booms, the health care industry will produce millions of jobs. This niche is full of potential and one of the best healthcare jobs you can get is to be a physician assistant.
Physician Assistants, or PAs for short, are nationally certified and state licensed medical professionals. These healthcare pros work as part of a healthcare team where their job is to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician or a surgeon.
Being a PA is one of the best jobs out there. It ranked as the #13 job in US New’s and World Report’s 100 Best Jobs of 2014. That’s pretty impressive.
Physician assistants aren’t ever trapped at a desk, instead they are on the move doing a wide variety of things. Some of their daily tasks include taking medical histories, performing physical exams, diagnosing and treating ailments, ordering and interpreting tests, developing treatment plans, offering preventive care, assisting with surgeries, writing prescriptions, and doing hospital rounds. PAs stay constantly busy keeping their patients healthy.
To become a physician assistant, you must attend PA school. The application process is competitive. There are approximately 170 accredited PA schools in the US. To get into PA school, you must complete the basic science prerequisites – chemistry, physiology, biology, anatomy, etc. Most PA programs want to see at least 3 years of healthcare experience as an EMT, paramedic, peace corp volunteer, registered nurse, or emergency room tech.
Once accepted to PA school, you will learn things like anatomy, pharmacology, laboratory science, medical terminology, and ethics. You must also complete 2000 hours of rotations in medical niches like family medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics. A typical physician assistant program lasts 27 months, which is way less time than is required to become a doctor.
After completion of PA school, it’s time to get certified. All physician assistants must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. They are then able to apply for a state license. The certification must be maintained through continuing education throughout their career.
Once certified and licensed, PAs need to find work. There are lots of options because PAs are in demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects physician assistant jobs to grow by 38% by 2022. It’s best to look for work at physician’s offices, hospitals, and healthcare organizations. Wherever a physician assistant works, they are always under the direct supervision of a physician or surgeon.
Physician assistants have a pretty cool job. Walking the halls of the doctor’s office and treating patients is a pretty rewarding way to make a living. It’s a job that requires a caring, compassionate personality to work with patients who are suffering from a variety of unpleasant sicknesses and untimely emergencies. PAs work long hours and have busy schedules that keep them focused at all hours of the day. It’s hard work, but it pays well. Physician assistants earn very healthy paychecks. Their annual average salary is $90,930 per year or $43.72 per hour.
Are you ready to pursue a job as a physician assistant? Working in the healthcare industry is a rewarding way to make a living, plus the paychecks aren’t too shabby either.
Quick Facts About Physician Assistant Jobs
Job Title: Physician Assistants
Office: Doctor’s Office
Description: Practice medicine to help patients
Certifications/Education: PA School, National Exam, State License
Necessary Skills: Caring, Compassionate, Hard Worker
Potential Employers: Physician’s offices, Hospitals, and Healthcare organizations
Pay: 90,930 per year or $43.72 per hour