Physician assistants have good expertise in assisting licensed doctors and surgeons in providing proper medical care to patients. They have advanced knowledge of various medical procedures and techniques. Most young people are happily choosing this demanding career for good establishment. If you are too having a dream of being a physician assistant one day, plan from today. Here’s how to become a physician assistant.
A stepwise guidance for the correct move:
- A prior education is the first qualification:
Before applying for a main course, a bachelor’s degree in health science will direct the wind in your favour. Health science will provide the much-needed basic concept before pursuing an advanced degree. In an undergraduate programme, these following courses may be covered – Healthcare Ethics, Medical Terminology, Quantitative Methods, Statistics, etc.
To gain further experience on healthcare techniques, one can work as paramedic, nurse or EMT. This should be pursued before applying for the physician assistant programme.
- Need of a master’s degree:
After successfully completing a bachelor’s programme, the candidate has to pursue a 2 year master’s degree for wider job opportunities. In fact, some employers seek a PA with master’s degree; that is a mandatory eligibility criterion. Subjects that are covered in this phase are Pharmacology, Pathology, Physiology, Anatomy, Medical ethics and law, and many more.
According to some institutes, it is compulsory to complete 2000 clinical hours prior to entering the professional field. There are training programmes or internships in medical setting to get hands-on training.
- Pass the PANCE:
To be a licensed physician assistant, one has to successfully pass PANCE ( Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam ) after graduating from ARC -PA. It is an examination of 5 long hours through which concept on basic medical and surgical understanding will be judged. Once you pass this multiple-choice formatted test, you can designate yourself as a Physician Assistant – Certified ( PA-C ). This is a major step in how to become a physician assistant.
- A career advancement:
Your career as a physician assistant does not stop there. In fact, you are always open to pursuing an advanced level course for becoming a specialist. A specialisation can be taken in
- Emergency care
- Internal Medicine
- Vascular Access
- Nutrition Support, etc.
For a specialised certification course, you should match the following eligibility criteria:
- PA-C certificate
- 1 to 2 years’ experience in assisting and speciality
Once you are a suitable candidate, pass the examination and be a specialist.
Now, as you know how to become a physician assistant, here are the duties you need to perform.
As an expert physician assistant, these are some of the following responsibilities one has to undertake –
- Conduct physical examinations
- Other medical examinations
- Assistance to surgeons in surgery
- Diagnosing illness and treating them
- Rounds in hospitals
- Plan treatment programmes
- Preparing prescriptions
Remember; you will be equally focused as the doctor for a patient’s development and good health. Hence, you must acquire excellent interpersonal skills to shine as a physician assistant.