Physician’s Assistant Career Guide

Are you interested in becoming a Physician’s Assistant (PA)? We have information on all the top PA schools and related programs near you and throughout the USA. We also have the most up to date salary and employment data for your area.

Physician Assistant Career FAQ’s

What does a Physician Assistant do?

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works under the supervision of a doctor. The responsibility for patient care is shared by the doctor and the PA. The duties carried out by a PA include giving patients advice on their healthcare plans, caring for wounds, gaining the patient history as well as diagnosis and caring for the development and implementation of treatment plans. With the exception of major treatments, such as surgery, the principal tasks of a PA and a doctor overlap. Whilst a PA may provide assistance to a doctor during surgery, the PA themselves is not licensed to carry out surgery. The main difference between the role of a doctor and that of a PA is that the PA is always supervised by a doctor, whereas a doctor works independently. Dependent on the State, a PA may or may not be authorized to write prescriptions.

PAs play a vital role in the healthcare system. According to studies, hospitals which prove themselves to be the most successful on a financial front, make the best use of their PAs. Major media outlets, such as USA Today and Forbes have given the profession of PA the title as the most promising job in America.

Role and Responsibilities

1. To gain accurate histories, inclusive of an analysis of the patient records.

2. To use the the appropriate medical form to record data from physical examinations.

3. To diagnose and implement treatment or refer a patient to the appropriate facility, agency physician or other community care.

4. For conditions such as cardiac arrest, hemorrhage, convulsions and such like, to take emergency measures, treatment and stabilization as necessary.

5. Under the direction of the Supervising Physician, to organize admission to hospital or discharge from hospital; to complete hospital rounds and make appropriate notes to show patient progress; under the direction of the Supervising Physician to both transcribe and implement exact orders, to complete narratives and case summaries providing all relevant detail; to fill out necessary forms for the patient medical records; to work within hospital guidelines in issuing and completing the signing of diagnostic orders.

5. To analyse and evaluate patient data in order to decide on appropriate management and treatment of the patient.

6. Inform patients of matters related to their medical care.

7. To either help or implement general and routine laboratory techniques and therapeutic procedures, these may include phlebotomy procedures.

8. To provide assistance when surgical procedures are carried out.