Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Clinical/Hands On Patient Care Experience..What counts?

Many Pre-PAs are in college or are working outside of the health care field, wonder what kinds of jobs count as hands on patient care experience or clinical experience (it is termed differently by different programs).   Basically programs want to know if you can handle interacting with complete strangers, can you be professional, responsible and everything else that comes with holding a job.  So what kind of job should you have?  THERE IS NO PERFECT JOB! However there many different positions that people often hold to gain this IMPORTANT clinical experience.

A very nice and hardworking Pre-PA named Kasmian Campa on Facebook shared this link to Anne Arundel Community College's Physician Assistant Certificate Program. This link shows their view on various jobs that people hold to gain clinical experience.  Just as they say on the pdf, this is not all-inclusive and can change!  Here is the link: https://www.aacc.edu/physassist/file/Patient%20Contact%20Preference%202011.pdf

Many jobs require getting certifications (or other degrees) such as EMT, CNA, RN, something Tech, etc. You need to do your homework on the costs, the different ways to get certifications, how long they last, and is getting a job after you get certified going to be possible. For example:
    I have several friends that got there EMT certifications but only a few (like 1 or 2) actually went out and got jobs. Some looked and looked and had no luck and others didn't have the time work. If you get your certifications be ready to put it to work!  Don't just get it to get, then sit around not use it and have to re-certify when your actually ready to use it. YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE, USE IT WISELY!!!

If you were wondering, I am a Physical Therapy Aide.  I work at an outpatient facility that also has a pool and provides aquatic therapy. I have been able to learn many things about medicine, rehabilitation, effective communication, and the patient provider relationship.  I want to point out that it is not just about getting the hours to put it on your CASPA application, it is about developing skills and gaining experiences. That is what is going to help you, not that you did 2,000 hours in a year (if that is even possible).

To sum it all up: First get a job (that can be the hardest part), go for quality! the quantity will come in good time.