The tasks that you are expected to perform and who you will work with is described in the job description of a career and this is important when deciding on a certain career. If your desire is to become a physician assistant, you should read the job description carefully before signing up for classes. Below is a few essential information about the physician assistant job description.
A physician assistant or sometimes referred to as doctor’s assistant is a person who is allowed to practice medicine under a physician’s supervision. People tend to confuse this career with that of a medical assistant, which involves clerical and routine clinic tasks. There are a lot of job opportunities as a physician assistant, as the career is heavily in demand. Surprisingly, a lot of people are getting physician assistant degrees, but few are actually aware of what the job involves.
How does a physician assistant differ from a doctor or a nurse practitioner? A doctor is licensed to perform patient care. A doctor’s assistant on the other hand can do these tasks even without a license but under the doctor’s supervision, under the umbrella of the doctor’s license. Whereas, a nurse practitioner has studied advanced levels of nursing. As a physician assistant, you are essentially trained as a general practitioner.
So what exactly does a physician assistant do? You are an essential member of the health care team. Based on your clinical experience, you are expected to carry out preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients as instructed by the doctor. Other tasks you may be required to do include recording patient medical history, performing examinations, diagnosing diseases, ordering laboratory tests, interpreting the results, prescribing drugs and making referrals to specialist when required. For you to carry out these tasks, you should be knowledgeable on various health conditions although you are not expected to do a specialization on one field.
A physician assistant works under the supervision of a physician as stated above. Most physician assistants actually work independently of their doctors and this is particularly true in rural areas and inner city clinics due to the shortages of doctors across the board. House calls may be performed as well as visits to nursing homes and hospitals to check on certain patients and reports are made to the doctor afterwards.
If you are keen in a certain medical field, you can specialize further for better job opportunities. Some field of specialties you may be keen on include surgery, emergency, pediatric, geriatric and orthopedics. You can expect a higher salary and better job opportunities when you have a specialization.
In conclusion, the job description of a physician assistant is determined by the state law and the supervising doctor. Should you decide to become a physician assistant, it is wise to be familiar with the physician assistant job description so you know what to expect of this exciting career.