A physician assistant or PA works under the supervision of surgeons and physicians.
PAs may work in private practices and/or hospitals among other health care facilities.
A typical work settings may involve working in offices and seeing patients.
In addition to working in an office, assistants who work in gynecology and obstetrics can assist with childbirth and surgeries.
These health care specialists are trained to diagnose illnesses and injuries, provide treatment to patients and examine patient medical conditions.
PAs also prescribe treatment for conditions or diseases, diagnose illnesses and order tests.
For those who work as physician assistants this can be a very profitable and rewarding career.
Physician assistants may take a number of career paths as their field of work allows for many different opportunities within the health care system.
The majority of PAs work in four career areas, such as internal medicine, gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics and general practice.
In limited geographic areas, PAs may have to take on the role of primary caretaker when supervision is limited.
These scenarios occur when a doctor is not available to administer care and when it is legal for a PA to practice without direct supervision from a doctor.
For instance, some rural clinics may require their staff to work in rescue services or with the armed services.
It is more ideal for PAs to work under the supervision of a doctor, but this does not mean their duties are limited.
The presence of a doctor gives the assistant access to greater medical knowledge when needed.
Many PAs rarely need to call on a doctor for help because of having a significant amount of specialty training.
Assistants are found practicing in pediatric and adult specialties, such as neurology, dermatology and cardiology.
Employment at hospitals is another option instead of working in medical offices.
Many specialty practices are located in hospitals, which makes it easier to find work in a variety of hospital settings.
Duties involve overseeing patients, performing basic procedures and working with medical teams.
PAs also may monitor patients after surgeries and alert the doctor of any problems.
Salary may vary depending on the location and the duties of the job.
However, a PAs salary is negotiable.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PAs make around $86,410 per year or $41.54 per hour.
If you are looking to make a higher income in this field, then you want to target surgical and medical hospitals or outpatient care centers.
These facilities usually pay the highest wages.
Salary tends to vary depending on years of experience, educational level and geographic location.
It is also important to not accept the first offer and to negotiate.
The development of PA’s career depends on their education and experience.
Physician assistants who choose not to take on a specialty study are more likely to stay in the general practice field.