Physician Assistant Programs In South Carolina

south-carolinaHow To Become A Physician Assistant In South Carolina

There are tens of thousands of physician assistants across the United States of America, and it must me said that the medical industry in the state of South Carolina is currently ranked as the fourth largest industry in the entire country, judging by the employment rate. Having said that, there are numerous physicians who hold active licenses in this industry and who also need physician assistants to help them manage the workload, a workload that often turns out to be overwhelming. Physician assistants nowadays enjoy a great degree of freedom and independence when it comes to exercising their career, and this is only one of the numerous benefits why so many students choose to enroll in an ARC-PA approved physician assistant program every day and pursue their degrees. With a median yearly salary of around $85,000, physician assistants are certainly very sought-after in the state of South Carolina!

That being said, the steps every future physician assistant in South Carolina needs to take in order to pursue a lucrative career in the field are as follow: firstly, it is important for these professionals to opt for a qualified, reviewed and accredited PA training program that would allow them to sit for the certification exam, and then for the state licensure exam later on. The training program is undoubtedly the most important one, as the student will get a deeper insight into fields like nursing, public health, health, medical assistant as well as pre-medicine. The second step is to take the PANCE examination, also known as the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam, and then to apply with the South Carolina State Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Upon obtaining both the licensure and the certification, it is of utmost importance for every physician assistant in South Carolina to try and maintain them active and valid by meeting the minimum required CME credits and by sitting for the recertification examination.

Physician Assistant Job Description

As you may know already, physician assistants are part of a larger medical team of health care providers, and they work under the close supervision of a doctor. These professionals provide a wide array of different services, including surgical assistance, prescribing pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment of various diseases, therapeutic remediation and a plethora of other similar duties. From many points of view, it is safe to say that physician assistants have considerably more medical duties than other health care providers from the industry, such as nurses – nonetheless, physician assistants do not enjoy the same freedom in practicing medicine as licensed physician – at the end of the day, it is the duty of the PA to report back to the supervising physician.

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Licensure And Certification Options In South Carolina

As mentioned above, the first thing every physician assistant has to do upon graduating from an ARC-PA approved PA training program is to take the PANCE examination and to become certified. That being said, the Physician Assistant exam is actually a five hour long examination that consists of a 300 question multiple choice test that is offered once every three months. Only after successfully passing the PANCE examination students can move on to having their exam scores sent directly to the South Carolina Dept of Labor, Licensing and Regulation by the NCCPA, which is also the institution that administers the PANCE examination.

The licensure application must also include three letters of recommendation, a cleared criminal background check as well as an application and a prescriptive authority fee that must be paid in advance. The South Carolina PA license is set to expire every two years, this is why it is very important to make sure that you meet all the requirements to renew it constantly. In addition to the license, the certification is set to expire as well, and in order for every physician assistant to be able to renew their certification they must complete a minimum of 100 CME credits, or continuing medical education credits once every two years. Moreover, every ten years these health care professionals are also required to pass the PANRE exam, which is the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Examination.

Salary and Career Info

The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of South Carolina PA’s compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Physician Assistant Programs In South Carolina

At the time being, there is just one accredited physician assistant program in the state of South Carolina, and that is offered by the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.