I work with physicians to provide medical care to patients that arrive at the emergency department.
Learning / Being Challenged
Day to Day
It varies. If I’m in triage, then I’m sorting patients by their acuity or how sick they are. In just a couple of minutes, I listen to what their complaint is and try to get to the root of what is causing that problem. I figure out what testing they’re going to need and anticipate what other providers would want as far as results. It’s mainly managing and determining what a patient needs during their visit.
Skills & Qualities Beyond School
Interpersonal skills are a must because you as a provider are required to effectively communicate and build rapport not only with patients but also with other people on staff. Everyone is on the same team trying to figure out the best way to help patients. Also, you need time management skills in order to multitask. And then of course being able to handle stress and finding a good work-life balance is key. You really have to know yourself first and foremost and create necessary boundaries.
Advice for Getting Started
Here's the first step for everyone
Try to get in as a [hospital] volunteer just to see what the flow is in that setting. This way you can witness all the different things that it takes to treat people. If you’re set on pursuing a career as a PA, find a program that links undergraduate studies with PA studies to save you both time and money.