When I researched the role of Physician Assistant it stated “Physician Assistants take patients histories, perform routine diagnostic studies, assist in emergency medicine, monitor patient progress and manage therapeutic plans”. (Quinnipiac. edu ) What this description does not tell you is that you have to have a desire and love for people. You must always put their best interests forward. Whether they are at their best or worst health of their life. You must always have a positive attitude and promote the best outcomes for the people/patients that are in your care.
Those are attributes that can not be taught, that has to live inside of you. Although, a physician assistant is a mid-level healthcare worker you must posses the same characteristics as a practicing physician. Those employed as assistants to physicians must mirror this position in as many ways a possible, in order to facilitate an atmosphere where there is a high level of efficiency in carrying out your day to day duties. A physician assistant is a very important member of the healthcare team. Competency is very important!
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A skilled PA will help reduce some of the burden on the physician, which will in turn relieve some of the stress of his position and allow him/her to focus on the patient’s well-being in a more efficient manner. My interviewee gave me a lot of background information, as to what my life would really be like. Like him, I plan on becoming a surgical PA in a hospital setting. Which will give me the opportunity to see patients pre- and post-operative. His day begins at 6:30am. Upon arriving to the hospital, he obtains the listing of patients on the general surgery service from the Chief Resident, which is a fourth year medical student.
After reviewing the list, he goes to see each patient and checks their development. Whether their health is progressing, declining or needs surgery. Once all the patients are seen, he then reports to the Attending Physician, and gives a report of each patient. Although, the physician has the final say as to what mode of action will be taken for each patient, the PA has an opinion and is apart of the decision making of what the next step in a patients care will be. The role of a physician assistant is just as important as every other member of the healthcare team.
For each member in the team, the common goal is that the patient gets the best care possible. Its very rewarding to assist a physician in a tough case and the outcome is as you hoped for. Whether surgical intervention is for diagnosis of a disease to determine an illness or a procedure done emergently to save a patients life. There is no greater reward than helping a patient return back to their normal lives. Most of the knowledge I will attains in my career will be gained from experience. It is very important to stay up to date on new medical techniques, procedures, studies equipment etc.
Medicine is a field that is constantly changing. It is great to have a basic knowledge to identity certain patient issues but there are some things that I may not know, which is okay. But, one key factor of being a physician assistant is that you are not alone. You have someone to turn to when your having a rough time and need assistance. Doctors are the ones making the tough choices. One wrong decision can be detrimental to a patients health. As a physician or any healthcare provider there is little to no room for error.
A PA’s responsibility is to be an extension of the physician. To make their day go smoother and less stressful. Some of the most challenging issues in health care is patients with little or no health insurance. That puts a patient with an underlining illness or disability at a huge disadvantage. Many patients will not be able to receive the preventative care they need. For example, a patient with insurance will seek out medical help for any type of pain or discomfort, whereas a patient with little or no insurance will not get the help they need.
This makes a huge difference when a patient has cancer and is treated early, in oppose to a patient that has been undetected. Early preventative care can a make a huge difference in a patients life. Health insurance vs. no health insurance can mean life or death. When I made the decision to go to school to become a physician assistant instead of going to medical school there was always a question that lingered in the back of my mind. Would I be comfortable with answering to someone and never being able to practice medicine on my own?
After my thorough research, analysis and interview I can say I’m confident and comfortable in my choice. The problem I know I will face and will have the hardest time dealing with is that you can not help and save everyone. There will be times when you have given your all and there’s nothing physically, emotionally, or medically that can be done to save a patients life. Medicine will not be able to fix whatever has gone wrong in your patients life. That may be the hardest obstacle to deal with. Especially when you see a patient often enough and form a relationship with them.
You want to be able to fix every issue that arises. I look forward waking up each day to a job that I enjoy and love doing. I do not want an occupation where I am just working for a paycheck. Although, a new physician assistant in 2012 grossed on average $102, 000. The U. S. Labor Department projects the profession will add 24,00 more jobs by 2020, an increase of 30 percent-far faster than the average for all occupations. This a growing field and in high demand. I look forward to my new career, I know I made the right choice.