A career route can require significant consideration, assessment, and contemplation. And if you’re considering working in the healthcare industry, training to be a physician assistant (PA) can be a wise move.
Physician assistants are licensed medical professionals with advanced degrees and can provide direct patient care. Their duties include diagnosing and treating common illnesses and performing minor procedures for patients of all ages.
Physician Assistants play a vital role in delivering high-quality patient care and have many unique benefits over other healthcare careers. Because PAs are available in most communities, thousands of patients have access to high-quality medical care daily.
Since they are frequently the sole healthcare practitioners in rural and other underserved regions, PAs are essential to improving patient care access.
Depending on where they work, their responsibilities can vary, but often they are the following:
- Providing medical care, setting fractures, or sewing severe wounds
- Providing comfort and guidance to patients who are in need or who are worried
- Patient consultation regarding health issues or treatment plans
- Creating treatment strategies and giving patients instructions
- Conducting patient physical exams
- Enquiring about the patient’s medical history
- Ordering patients’ lab tests, x-rays, or imaging scans
- Designing treatment options after reviewing test data
- Identifying the ailments, injuries, and conditions of patients
- Helping the medical staff during patient procedures and operations
- Updating doctors about patient developments or needs
- Recommending drugs and therapies
There is no doubt that physician assistants are one of the best (and most needed) professions in the modern healthcare system. As a PA, you have the advantage of serving at the forefront of the healthcare industry. Below are some reasons why becoming a PA is rewarding:
- Patient Care – You will be personally involved in giving patient care as a PA, which may be both difficult and gratifying. You’ll get the chance to get to know your patients well and change their lives on a daily basis.
- Team-Oriented Environment – As a vital member of a broader healthcare team, PAs collaborate closely with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists. You may gain knowledge from others and significantly impact patient care in this collaborative setting.
- Good Salary – Over the past year, the median base salary for PAs has risen by 4.5 percent. According to the American Academy of Physician Associates (APPA), 68% of PA students expect to make between USD$80,000 and USD$100,000. The minimum salary of physician assistants is USD$100,000, according to 22% of newly certified professionals. For their first healthcare jobs average physician assistant salary is over USD$100,000.
- Versatility – Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities are just a few places where PAs can work. The versatility allows them to specialize in a particular area of medicine or work in various settings to gain diverse experiences.
- Autonomy – It can be challenging and rewarding for PAs to work with such a high degree of autonomy. Working under the direction of a doctor, you will have the chance to make choices, carry out actions, and diagnose illnesses.
- Career Advancement – PAs can advance to management positions, develop a specialty within medicine, or pursue additional training to become doctors, among many other options for career advancement.
- High Demand – The growing need for healthcare services and the physician shortage drive the high demand for PAs. Thanks to this demand, you can have a stable and secure career, which also offers you the chance to make good money.
- Shorter Education – A PA is a qualified medical expert who doesn’t need to complete four years of standard medical school. Instead, they can apply for a PA program, which is about 28 months long. Additionally, a PA doesn’t have to finish a long residency or fellowship, allowing them to start working as soon as they graduate.
- Work-Life Balance – The ability to lead a life outside your regular full-time employment is another fantastic feature of the PA career. Many people who work as PAs can have families, pastimes, and downtime without constantly needing to be on call. They have better mental health because they still enjoy life’s pleasures. You can generally count on enjoying your days off without thinking about work. However, some specialties are more demanding than others.
Becoming a physician assistant allows you to positively impact patient care, work in a team-oriented environment, and get a good salary.
You can also enjoy versatility in your career, have autonomy in your work, take on management positions, have job security in a high-demand field, and enjoy an excellent work-life balance. And the best part is that you take a shorter education length to get there.
If you have a passion for helping others and a desire to work in the healthcare field, consider becoming a Physician Assistant.