All About Physician Assistants
Physician Assistant (PA) Definition Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
A Day in the Life of a Physician Assistant (PA)
- Interpret diagnostic test results for deviations from normal.
- Perform therapeutic procedures, such as injections, immunizations, suturing and wound care, and infection management.
- Administer or order diagnostic tests, such as x-ray, electrocardiogram, and laboratory tests.
- Provide physicians with assistance during surgery or complicated medical procedures.
- Prescribe therapy or medication with physician approval.
- Visit and observe patients on hospital rounds or house calls, updating charts, ordering therapy, and reporting back to physician.
Physician Assistant (PA) Skills
Below is a list of the skills most Physician Assistants say are important on the job.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Types of Physician Assistant (PA) Jobs
- Clinical Physician Assistant
- Pediatric Physician Assistant
- Physician Extender
- Physician Assistant (PA)
Is There Going to be Demand for Physician Assistants?
There were about 106,200 jobs for Physician Assistant in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 37.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 39,700 new jobs for Physician Assistant by 2026. The BLS estimates 10,600 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Physician Assistant (PA) are Arizona, Utah, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
How Much Does a Physician Assistant (PA) Make?
The salary for Physician Assistants ranges between about $69,120 and $151,850 a year.
Physician Assistants who work in Connecticut, Washington, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.
How much do Physician Assistants make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$114,740|
What Tools & Technology do Physician Assistants Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Physician Assistants may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Web browser software
- Word processing software
- Spreadsheet software
- MEDITECH software
- Medical procedure coding software
- Epic Systems
- Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
- Medical condition coding software
- Electronic medical record EMR software
- ChartWare EMR
- Teleconferencing software
- Teleradiology systems
How to Become a Physician Assistant (PA)
Education needed to be a Physician Assistant:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where do Physician Assistants Work?
Below are examples of industries where Physician Assistants work:
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those interested in being a Physician Assistant may also be interested in:
Are you already one of the many Physician Assistant in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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