Physician Assistant Programs In Washington

washingtonHow To Become A Physician Assistant In Washington

Washington is one of the states where physician assistants are always very appreciated, as in some parts of the state there is a significant shortage of physicians – especially in the rural areas. Having said that, this shortage of physicians can be easily diminished with the help of skilled and highly trained physician assistants who can help licensed physicians (with whom every physician assistant must develop a collaborative and professional relationship) ease some of the workload they have to deal with on a daily basis. However, if you have decided to pursue a career as a physician assistant in the Washington state, it is important to understand that this might take as much as six years, if you want to get both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in the field. Some schools also offer Ph.D training programs, for those who are truly committed to making the best of their careers in the medical field.

That being said, it is important to mention that in addition to the formal training, which plays a pivotal role in the professional life of every PA, physician assistants must also have some innate skills, as they will need to perform a variety of medical tasks. The first step towards becoming a certified and licensed physician assistant in Washington is to earn a Bachelor’s degree – depending on the community college or the university you aim for, you may be required to complete some pre-requisite courses in statistics, chemistry, biology and medical terminology, and some of the most reputable schools also require their applicants for the Bachelor’s degree-level training programs to have some basic medical experience as well. Fortunately, applicants can quickly and effortlessly gain this amount of practical experience by working as an emergency medical technicians or as nurses.

After graduating from the Bachelor’s degree program, most people choose to pursue a Master’s degree in the field as well – this can be done in as little as two years, provided that the program is reviewed and accredited by the ARC-PA. The classroom training typically includes courses in pharmacology, clinical medicine, physiology, medical ethics and laws, anatomy and pathology, and depending on the school you opt for you may also be eligible to enroll in an accelerated Bachelor’s Degree that will certainly help you save a lot of time, money and trouble.

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Physician Assistant Job Description

Physician assistants can nowadays be found in a variety of different clinical settings: they can work in state hospitals, they can be found working in nursing homes, in private physicians offices, in the armed forces, in prisons or in the medical department of schools and universities. As mentioned earlier, physician assistants are absolutely indispensable regardless of the work environment they opt for, especially in the areas where there is a known physician shortage.

These professionals have a variety of duties and responsibilities when it comes to practicing their profession: they can assist licensed physicians and surgeons in surgery, they can take and update the medical history files of patients, they can diagnose and treat various common illnesses, they can perform physical examinations, perform basic medical procedures under the supervision of a licensed physician, make hospital rounds and so forth. Once again, these duties are governed by a series of factors, such as the employer or the amount of experience of each physician assistant – for instance, it is not uncommon for physician assistants who work in private nursing homes, private clinics or private physician’s offices to also perform some basic administrative tasks.

Certification For Physician Assistants In Washington

Every physician assistant in the Washington state must sit and pass the PANCE exam, or the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, which is administered by the NCCPA. This is a 5-hour long test that consists of 300 multiple choice questions designed to check your medical skills and knowledge. All physician assistant students are allowed to take the test six times over a period of six years, and only after completing the ARC-PA approved training program.

Salary and Career Info

The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Washington 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 Washington

There are currently two reputable ARC-PA approved physician assistant training programs in the Washington state: the Heritage University and the University of Washington, the latter having three campuses located in Spokane, Tacoma as well as Seattle.

List of All 2 Accredited PA Programs

The accrediting agency is ARC-PA and they have 2 fully accredited AL programs listed as of November 2014.

1. Heritage University (Provisional)

Initial Accreditation Date: March 7, 2014

Next ARC-PA Review: September 2016

Website: http://www.heritage.edu/AcademicPrograms/GraduateDegrees/PhysicianAssistantEducationalProgram.aspx

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2. University of Washington (D)

Initial Accreditation Date: February 1, 1973

Next ARC-PA Review: September 2018

Website: https://depts.washington.edu/medex/pa-program/

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