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Physician Assistant Career: Job Description

Understanding the job description of a physician assistant is important when considering a career in this field as it defines what you are going to do, the various tasks that you have to perform and who you will work with. For those of you who wants to become a physician assistant, you should study the job description of the career carefully before signing up for classes. Here are some important information that you should know about the physician assistant job description.

A physician assistant is an assistant to a doctor who is allowed to practice medicine under a physician's supervision. People tend to confuse this career with that of a medical assistant, which involves clerical and routine clinic tasks. Recently, there have been numerous openings for physician assistant jobs and it is now one of the most common professions these days. Surprisingly, a lot of people are getting physician assistant degrees, but few are actually aware of what the job involves.

You may be questioning the difference between a physician assistant from a doctor or a nurse practitioner. A doctor is licensed to perform patient care. A doctor’s assistant on the other hand can do these tasks even without a license but under the doctor’s supervision, under the umbrella of the doctor’s license. Meanwhile, nurse practitioners have studied advanced levels of nursing often having specialty fields. For a physician assistant, you will be trained as a general practitioner in the provision of patient care and the medical field.

What are the roles of a physician assistant? As what the physician assistant job description entails, you are an essential part of the health care team. Some of the tasks a doctor may assign to you include preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients. You will be trained to take the medical histories and records of patients, perform examinations, diagnose diseases, order various laboratory tests and interpret the results, prescribe appropriate medications to your clients and make referrals to specialists when the situations call for such action. In order to carry out these tasks satisfactorily, you are expected to have a firm knowledge of the various common health conditions.

As mentioned earlier, a physician assistant works with the directions of a physician. Most physician assistants actually work independently of their doctors and this is particularly true in rural areas and inner city clinics due to the shortages of doctors across the board. Occasionally, you may be instructed by your supervising doctor to travel directly to patient's residency to check on them and report back to your doctor.

If you are keen in a certain medical field, you can specialize further for better job opportunities. Some field of specialties you may be keen on include surgery, emergency, pediatric, geriatric and orthopedics. When you have a specialization, then you will be able to focus on a certain field and you will have a better chance of getting a better job.

The state law and the instructions of your supervising doctor defines the job description of your physician assistant career Should you decide to become a physician assistant, it is wise to be familiar with the physician assistant job description so you know what to expect of this exciting career.

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