Interested in a medical career with more advanced training than a registered nurse, but less than a doctor? Consider becoming a physician assistant, or PA. Under a physician's supervision, PAs examine and diagnose patients' injuries or illnesses, treat and educate patients, and prescribe medicine. A PA does many of the same tasks a doctor does, from setting broken bones, to ordering x rays and blood tests. Physician assistants work in all areas of medicine, including primary care and family medicine, emergency medicine, psychiatry, and surgery-where they assist physicians during procedures. Like other medical professionals, PAs spend significant time reviewing patient records and documenting patients' progress. Most physician assistants work in healthcare clinics and hospitals. Spending many hours each day on their feet to make rounds and examine patients, the work can be physically demanding. Most PAs work full time, and may work nights, holidays, and weekends. Some are required to work on-call shifts, ready to respond to patient needs at any time. They may make house calls or visit nursing homes to treat patients. A master's degree and license are required to enter the field. PAs bring healing and help to patients, while continuously learning from the skilled physicians in their midst, and from the patients who depend on their skills.
What they do:
Assist anesthesiologists in the administration of anesthesia for surgical and non-surgical procedures. Monitor patient status and provide patient care during surgical treatment.
On the job, you would:
Provide airway management interventions including tracheal intubation, fiber optics, or ventilary support.
Respond to emergency situations by providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic cardiac life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), or pediatric advanced life support (PALS).
Verify availability of operating room supplies, medications, and gases.
medicine and dentistry
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
listen and understand what people say
read and understand what is written
pay attention to something without being distracted
do two or more things at the same time
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR
Greenway Medical Technologies PrimeSUITE
Electronic mail software
master's degree or high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
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