Neurology physician assistants are very appreciated in every work environment – regardless of their employer or the clinical settings where they practice their profession, NPAs are always looked up to by other professionals. In a nutshell, physician assistants in neurology work closely with medical nurses and neurosurgeons, and their duties and requirements vary greatly. Nonetheless, it is up to the NPA to assist the licensed neurosurgeon in the operating room, to take the detailed medical history of each patient as soon as admitted to hospital, to perform exams, to order and to interpret various tests and laboratory results, to make diagnoses and to discuss with the licensed neurosurgeon in order to come up with the best tailored treatment plan for each patient. Moreover, physician assistants in neurology are also allowed to prescribe medications, to review CT scans and MRI scans, to close wounds at the end of a neurosurgical operation and so forth. Those health care professionals who work for the state hospitals even make hospital rounds on a regular basis.
What Education Does One Need In Order To Become a Neurology Physician Assistant?
Becoming a physician assistant in such a demanding field like neurosurgery certainly takes a lot more than just formal training – you must have good bedside manners along with some innate skills and qualities that can rarely be achieved through training. It is important for NPAs to be able to make quick decision in the emergency room or the operating room, they must be very self-motivated and organized and they must also have in-depth experience in performing a variety of neurology-related duties.
Moreover, physician assistants in neurology must also have a genuine desire to help patients. These health care professionals should expect to receive a median yearly wage of around $92,000, although this can vary greatly depending on the state, the experience, the work environment as well as the employer of each physician assistant. Nonetheless, there is a job growth of almost 40% in this industry, and this is precisely what makes neurology one of the most-wanted fields for surgeons, nurses and physician assistants alike.
If you have decided to pursue a lucrative career in neurology as a physician assistant, then it is important to know that in addition to the Bachelor’s degree, which will serve as your educational base, you will also need to pursue a Master’s degree in the same field. Moreover, before you get to specialize in the field of neurology, you must also sit for the PANCE examination, or the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam. Once you pass the examination and you become a certified physician assistant, you must apply for the state licensure – in order to do that, you must have a clean criminal background, you must pay for the licensure fee and you must also have your ARC-PA accredited physician assistant school send the official transcripts over the State’s Board of Medicine. After that, you will be granted your license to practice medicine.
Only after becoming fully licensed and certified you can proceed to pursuing your specialization in the neurology. Neurology is a very complex, difficult and often demanding and exhausting medical specialty, but it is also one of the best paying fields in the medical industry, not to mention the fact that it offers NPAs a plethora of possibilities to advance in their career. With that in mind, in order to pursue your double certification and to gain the designation of NPA-C or Neurological Physician Assistant-Certified, you will need to complete at least one year of on the job practical training, in order to specialize in the field of Neurosurgery Assisting. After that you can apply for a residency or a postgraduate program that will consolidate your skills and your knowledge in Neurosurgery Assisting.
These program usually last between 12 and 18 months, and they will provide you with all the practical and theoretical tools that you will be needing later on, in your career as a physician assistant in neurology. Only after you graduate from this training program you can apply for the specialty certification. Your certification will need to be renewed after a while – it is important for all physician assistants in neurology to complete a minimum of 100 hours of continued medical education once every 24 months, as well as to pass a recertification examination every six years in order to maintain their credentials active and valid.