With medical professionals on the front lines and in the news, many people are considering a career change. If you have a background in healthcare and want to transition to a new opportunity, you may be considering the options. Can a physician assistant career be right for you? Here’s a closer look at what PAs do in a typical day, the difference between a PA and a nurse practitioner, and how to become a physician assistant.
A Day in the Life
On an average day, a PA will obtain patient histories, perform exams, diagnose illnesses, and create treatment strategies. They may also order and read lab tests and talk to patients about their overall health. They can even perform some medical procedures or assist in surgery. In many states, they can also write prescriptions.
The difference between PA and NP
As you can see, a PA does a lot of the same things as a doctor. But nurse practitioners can also do these things, so what’s the difference? A physician assistant is trained and licensed and can even work independently of a lead physician. But a nurse practitioner has to work under the close supervision of their attending doctor.
How to Become a PA
There are several steps to becoming a PA. You will have to have a bachelor’s degree. Health or science are the best majors for this. You can even enroll in a PA program as early as your freshman year in college. You’ll need prerequisite classes like biology, physiology, and anatomy. Some PA programs require previous medical experience. After you complete the accredited PA program, you will need to get certified, obtain your state license, and maintain your certification.
Finding a PA Job
Do you know where to look for a physician assistant position in the DC area? Working with a staffing agency specializing in medical placements will help you get a job faster. They work with offices, facilities, and hospitals throughout the area and can match you to a position that fits your background, interest, and skill level.
Are you looking for a PA job in DC?
Call NRI Healthcare Staffing now, we are also looking for physicians assistants in Virginia and Maryland.