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How To Become A Physician's Assistant - One Of The Most In-Demand Jobs In The Medical Field

Updated on January 12, 2012

Job opportunities are available in both rural and inner city locations.

Although the country is in a state of temporary economic unrest, jobs in the medical field are increasing. If you are interested in a challenging and rewarding career, learn more about the life of a Physician Assistant.

Before you make any final decisions regarding your future career, decide if you are the right person for this job. Because you will be dealing with people of all ages who may be ill, injured, or in pain, you must have excellent communication skills. You must be willing and able to take direction and follow through with speed and accuracy. You must be well-organized, hard working, patient, compassionate, and discreet. People who work in the medical field should be motivated as much by a desire to serve humanity as by the prestige and the paycheck.

Although Physician Assistants generally work a forty hour week, the nature of the job may mean that you work evenings, weekends, holidays, or on an emergency basis. The hours may be long and the work demanding, but the rewards are many.

The duties of a Physician Assistant are many and vary day by day. You will assist in providing diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive health care to all those you serve. You will be required to take medical histories, order x rays, and tests and treat minor injuries. You may find that you are required to serve as the principal care giver in a rural area. You will, however, always work under the supervision of a qualified physician or surgeon.

Training to become a Physician Assistant requires two years of college plus some health care experience. All states now require that you attend an accredited educational program at the completion of which, you will be required to pass a national exam. Then you will be considered a licensed Physician Assistant. Further education is then available which can, of course, lead to further career advancement.

If you are interested in a career as a Physician Assistant, and are still in high school, it would be wise to take all the science courses available to you, as well as Mathematics, English, and any Health Care courses offered. Volunteer experience in a hospital, seniors' home or other health care facility would be an asset. Check with the hospital and colleges in your area to learn what training is available as well as what your specific state requires to practice as a Physician Assistant.


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