Physician Assistant Jobs

Physician Assistant Jobs

If you’re training for, or considering, a career as a physician assistant, you’re in luck. This rewarding occupation is part of the booming healthcare industry. Like all healthcare positions, this job field is growing fast.

Here, we’ll take a look at physician assistant jobs. What you’ll be doing on a daily basis, your career outlook, and how much you can expect to make will all be covered.

Physician Assistant Jobs Day to Day

Depending on where you work, physician assistant jobs can vary greatly. In a doctors’ office, clinic or hospital setting, a physician assistant (PA) may spend time taking the medical histories of patients, ordering blood and other lab tests, educating patients, treating minor wounds and performing many other duties under the supervision of a doctor or surgeon.

In rural or inner-city settings, however, physician assistant jobs are often much more involved. In settings such as these, where there may only be a doctor on call for a few days (or even hours) each week, the role of a PA is vital. Since the availability of doctors is limited, the PA often acts independently. However, they are required by law to consult on and refer any complex cases to a licensed doctor.

Another aspect of this career is visiting the homes of patients. Often, a doctor will send a physician assistant out on house-calls, checking in on patients. These visits are a great way for older adults and those with disabilities to keep in touch with their doctor without the hassle of visiting a clinic on a regular basis. The PA can help treat many minor issues, and if something more complex arises, the PA will refer the patient to their doctor.

The same type of house-calls are often made to patients residing in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. These house-calls save the patients and doctor a great deal of time, and they allow the physician assistant to build a strong bond with patients. In many cases, such as those of patients who don’t receive many visitors, the simple interaction these visits provide results in better physical and emotional well-being.

Physician assistant jobs should never be confused with medical assistant jobs. These two careers are very different. While a medical assistant is allowed to perform only menial tasks, a PA functions with a great deal of independence and responsibility. Physician assistant jobs still require a physician’s supervision, but they are at a much higher level of skill, expertise and responsibility than medical assistant positions.

Depending on the level of schooling you attain, physician assistant jobs can offer even more responsibility and higher salaries. For example, in most areas, specialized classes are required to work as a physician assistant to a surgeon. These positions, due to the delicate and highly involved work inherent in the surgical field, typically pay more than other physician assistant jobs.

How to Find Physician Assistant Jobs

Physician Assistant Jobs

All the traditional methods of finding job openings are useful when searching for physician assistant jobs. Utilize online tools such as general employment websites, as well as sites dedicated specifically to medical professions. You can also search local hospitals’ and clinics’ websites, since many feature a “careers” section listing current job openings.

During your education, you will likely be required to complete extensive on-the-job training. Often, this is how students find their very first physician assistant jobs. Doctors who sign up for these programs are often looking to hire a physician assistant. Impressing them by doing well during your internship can make an employment offer more likely upon graduation.

A Very Bright Employment Future For Physician Assistant Jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, working as a physician assistant is a wise career choice. By the year 2018, there are expected to be approximately 104,000 physician assistants employed in the United States. For reference, in the year 2008, there were only 74,000. You can see just how fast this career is growing! The country’s population is aging. As we age, we naturally require higher and higher degrees of medical care. The healthcare industry is rapidly increasing in size to meet these new demands, and qualified professionals are highly sought after.

In order to maximize your employment opportunities, look in rural or inner-city areas. These locations tend to attract fewer full-time physicians. For this reason, many of them are in desperate need of qualified medical professionals. While a physician assistant is not a doctor and must always work under supervision, in these areas that supervision is often conducted via the phone, internet, or weekly in-person meetings. This gives the PA a great deal of responsibility, since they will be the first (and often only) medical professional a patient sees.

As you can see, physician assistant jobs offer a great deal of variety and diversity. This is why most PA’s report that they truly love their jobs, due in part to the flexibility and high level of patient care.

A physician assistant may find themselves filling many different roles, sometimes all in the same day! One thing is for certain…physician assistant jobs are never boring. If you love helping people and want freedom to move between several different fields of medicine, physician assistant jobs are your ticket to an exciting and rewarding career.

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