Physician Assistant

Summary:

Physician assistants (PA) are certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and state-licensed. They are health professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural and urban settings. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and prescribe medications. PAs promote quality, cost effective medical care to all members of society. PAs can specialize in 7 different areas (Certificates of added qualifications-CAQs), but a CAQ is not required. The 7 CAQs are Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Nephrology, Orthopedic Surgery, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry. 

Duties - including, but not limited to:

  • Take medical histories
  • Conduct physical assessments
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses
  • Order and interpret tests
  • Develop treatment plans
  • Prescribe medications
  • Counsel on preventive care
  • Perform procedures
  • Assist in surgeries
  • Make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes
  • Clinical research

The duties of physician assistants, however, largely depend on:

  • The setting in which they work
  • Their experience/level of expertise
  • Their specialty
  • The state in which they practice

Physician assistants deliver medical and surgical care alongside physicians, who oversee their work and provide medical supervision. States dictate the work of physician assistants, determining the types of services they provide. In many states, physicians determine their scope of work, including their range of medical tasks and their method of supervision. However, some states have more explicit rules and regulations in place regarding both supervisory and practice requirements.

http://scopeofpracticepolicy.org/practitioners/physician-assistants/


Requirements:

  • Masters Degree from an accredited PA program
  • Certification by the NCCPA and current state licensure
  • 1 - 2+ years working experience as a PA outside of clinical rotations
  • Current BLS certification
  • ACLS, NRP, or PALS may be needed for certain jobs depending on PA specialty/patient population
  • Valid driver’s license/State ID/Passport
  • Current TB screen 
  • Successful completion of a background check and Medely’s screening process


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