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A physician assistant sees patients under the supervision of a licensed physician. They conduct physical exams to diagnose and treat patients. They may work in general family practice or specialize in a specific area of medicine, such as obstetrics, cardiology or orthopedics. Physician assistants are employed by hospitals, private practices and public health care clinics of Flensburg MN.
Education Requirements for Physician Assistants
An aspiring physician assistant (PA) must first earn a bachelor’s degree in an area of science. Following this, students apply to and enter a physician assistant program. This degree program in Minnesota includes a mixture of classroom training, laboratory work and practical training.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 170 accredited physician assistant programs in 2012 (www.bls.gov). Most schools offer 2-year, graduate-level PA programs that result in a master’s degree; however, some schools offer programs resulting in a bachelor’s degree or certificate. Many physician assistant programs are affiliated with a medical school or teaching hospital.
Physician assistants may choose to go on for additional training in a specialty area of medicine. Specialties can be obtained in emergency medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, occupational medicine and surgery.
Bachelor’s degree programs in Flensburg 56328 provide the scientific and administrative skills required to assist physicians in the clinical setting. Students explore the communication, problem-solving and critical reasoning necessary to address issues affecting patients of all ages. The challenges of working with the sick, as well as current issues affecting the practice of physician assistants are also explored.
Most institutions require bachelor’s candidates to complete prerequisite coursework in the life sciences. Some schools may require students to have previous health care experience. Students also participate in internships in a clinical setting to gain practical experience in the field.
Online elective courses require reliable access to a computer with up-to-date software and hardware, as well as an Internet connection. Word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, is typically recommended, but not required.
Below are a few of the online course options for students in a physician assistant program.
- Anatomy and Medical Terminology: Students learn medical terminology used by physician assistants along with the basic fundamentals of anatomy. This class prepares students for the clinical portion of the physician assistant program by offering instruction in the processes for medical interviewing, physical assessment and patient charting.
- Physician Assistant Primary Care: This course focuses on the techniques and theories used in performing a physical examination, obtaining a patient’s health history and completing charts on patients of various ages. Emphasis is on variances patients may exhibit due to normal or abnormal development, aging or pregnancy. Students learn effective methods for completing skillful physical exams through clinical skill labs.
- Health Care Delivery Systems: Students in Flensburg MN receive an introduction to the U.S. health care delivery system and the financial issues affecting the system, particularly regarding physician assistant positions. This class focuses on such economic and financial issues as reimbursement, health insurance and managed health care.
- Role of the Physician Assistant: Students learn the various roles and sectors of the physician assistant in the health care industry, including statewide and national physician assistant organizations, malpractice insurance, national certification, licensure requirements, liability, the role of the physician assistant in rural health care settings and other legal issues.
- Human Physiology: This class provides students with a fundamental understanding of the major organ systems in the human body. The course will emphasize the presentation of disease at different life stages, along with topics like cellular biology, genetics and electrolytes.
Certification in Flensburg
Certification from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is required for all practicing physician assistants. After graduation from an accredited educational program, physician assistants must pass an examination to earn certification. Those who gain certification may call themselves a Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C). To maintain certification, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing education every two years. A recertification exam is also required every six years.
Career Outlook in Flensburg MN 56328
Similar to physicians, physician assistants conduct patient examinations, order lab tests and take patient histories to make a medical diagnosis. They also prescribe medications and provide treatment of routine conditions. In some cases, physician assistants treat injuries and put in stitches or cast broken bones. All duties are carried out under the supervision of a physician as directed by state law.
The BLS reported an average annual salary of $99,350 for PAs in May of 2016. The general income for physician assistants varies based on experience, location, specialty and type of practice.
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