All About Physician Assistants Career Opportunities
by Robert Litton
Physician assistants career opportunities are many. In fact, this type of job is in high demand and offers many benefits. Here is information on what it takes to become a PA or physician assistant.
A doctor assistant is usually working with or under the supervision of the doctor. They may find themselves examining patients in a normal doctor office environment. The assistant can diagnose and treat patients and can order many kinds of diagnostic procedures. Assistants also can administer prescriptions. This kind of medical professional may apply stitches or help patients with prosthetics or casts. They work in many different specialties and also find employment in hospital and clinical environments.
You will similarities with PA duties and those of the nurse practitioner (NP) or advance practice registered nurse (APRN). Some of the differences are due to certain state regulations and laws. Both PA and nurse practitioner can take care of patient needs and this includes examination and treatment. The main difference is the assistant is usually working under a doctor’s supervision. A nurse practitioner can work alone in some states. Nurse practitioners are required to be registered nurses but it is not mandatory for assistants.
Perhaps you are thinking about a PA career. You are going to need a lot of education and on the job training. If you have an associate degree you can begin training. However, those with bachelor or even master degrees may find it much easier and less time consuming. You will take medical courses like pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology. There are no set prerequisites for training as it depends on one’s previous qualifications. For instance, registered nurses or certified paramedics may begin training and they will have different requirements than others.
It is best to have a master degree but not necessary in all cases. Whatever training you take it has to be approved by the ARC-PA (Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant). Your training will include working with patients, and you may need to rotate your duties with periodic supervisor evaluations required.
Once you finish your training you will get your license, and this means taking and passing the Physician Assistant Certifying Exam or PANCE. It is a test with multiple choice questions on subjects like surgical procedures, anatomy, and diagnostics. Once you pass the exam you will be required to take continuing education courses and re-certify occasionally.
Your new job as a doctor assistant will be high paying and have some very good benefits. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistic (2010) reports that median wages for a physician assistant is about $86,410 per year. These wages can vary and may be down around $57,000 or up to as much as $118,000 a year.
The future outlook for PA jobs is excellent. This type of employment is expected to increase by thirty percent in the next decade. Many doctors are choosing specialties and this will create a greater need for primary care assistants in health care. As the population continues to grow and age, there should be a large increase in physician assistants career opportunities.
Want more information on Jobs for Physician Assistants? If so check out Physician Assistant Jobs