Physician assistants, as licensed healthcare professionals, have many duties in any healthcare facility. Here are some physician assistant duties that any PA will encounter in a job situation. If you’re considering becoming a PA, this list will give you an idea what to expect in your first (and subsequent) employment situation.
1. Taking medical histories: This is one of the first physician assistant duties a PA will perform with a new patient, and involves getting a complete history and covering the reason for the visit, to get a complete medical history and create a complete medical record for the patient.
2. Create and carry out treatment plans: Physician assistant duties include planning and carrying out treatments for patients. If this sounds like something a doctor would do, that’s because PAs act as primary care providers in many situations, and must be able to perform those tasks.
3. Conduct physical exams: Again, many physician assistant duties are similar to those performed by primary care physicians, and this is a relatively simple but important duty many PAs will perform on a regular basis.
4. Order and analyze the results of lab tests: This is another primary care function which can easily be carried out by PAs, and allows healthcare facilities to provide more and higher quality care to patients more affordably.
5. Diagnose illnesses: Physician assistant duties include diagnosing common illnesses and creating treatment plans for those illnesses.
6. Referring patients to specialists: Like any primary care provider, a good PA knows when he is not able to provide care, and refers out to a specialist who is more qualified in the particular field.
7. Give injections (shots): Injections are a major element of primary care, and thus one of the most common physician assistant duties.
8. Treat minor injuries: Again, scrapes, bruises, dings and sprains are a common sight in primary care, and PAs are well qualified (and well used) to treat these mishaps.
9. Writing prescriptions: Although PAs are not allowed to prescribe controlled medications in some states, they are allowed to write other prescriptions in all states, and thus can prescribe medications for common illnesses and injuries.
10. Provide counseling: Sometimes patients need to talk, and sometimes they have questions. PAs are available for counseling with patients who need this conversational help.
These are some of the more common physician assistant duties, though not by any means an exhaustive list.
[listly id=”WNt” layout=”gallery” show_header=”false” show_author=”false” show_sharing=”true” show_tools=”false” per_page=”14″]