How to Become a Physician Assistant in Florida
A physician assistant is commonly known as a PA and practices many types of medicine under the direct supervision of surgeons or physicians. Those in Florida that would like to start a career as a physician assistant must first go through specific education and training before having the credentials necessary to be hired as a physician assistant. The following will detail each of these requirements, as well as everything else that you should know about what it takes to become a physician assistant.
Physician Assistant Requirements
Before becoming a physician assistant, there are a number of requirements that you will need to meet, both educational and skill-based. As for education, in order to become a physician assistant, it is required for all prospective PA’s to graduate from some form of accredited educational program. You must be able to demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills, as you will be treating and diagnosing patients on a regular basis. No matter what occupation you have within the medical field, stressful situations are something you will likely encounter nearly every day. As such, it’s important to deal with stress well. Having a great work ethic is a skill that every physician assistant will need, as it’s common for PA’s to work more than 40 hours per week, most of them spent multitasking and being on your feet on a near constant basis.
Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?
To become a physician assistant, there are a number of prior education requirements. For starters, there are a number of physician assistant schools in Florida to choose from in order to earn the required education. The most important educational requirement involves graduating from a physician assistant program, which is similar to a Master’s program You will first need to earn a Bachelor of Science before being able to sign up for a physician assistant program. There are plenty of physician assistant programs in Florida. When searching for one to enroll in, it’s important to make sure that the program is fully accredited by the Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Some training in the medical field is also required before you can enter into a Master’s program for physician assistants. This training can take the form of a nurse, medical technician or paramedic. The Master’s program usually takes 2-3 years to successfully complete.
Are Physician Assistants Required to Be Certified?
All states, including Florida, require prospective physician assistants to become certified before being allowed to assume a job as a physician assistant. This certification can only be obtained upon completing an assistant physician program.
How Can a Physician Assistant Become Certified?
In order for a physician assistant to become certified and receive the applicable license, they must pass an accredited training program and then go through the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam. This examination is provided by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and will test students on their comprehension of medical and surgical knowledge. Those that pass this exam have the ability to classify themselves as Physician Assistant-Certified and may begin applying for employment as a physician assistant.
Is Continuing Education Necessary?
All physician assistants will need to take continuing education periodically in order to keep their certification. Every two years, you will need to earn 100 continuing education credits, while the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam will need to be passed every six years.
Physician Assistant Salary
When looking at possible information for physician assistant salary Florida rests at just above $90,000 per year, though salaries can range anywhere from just over $75,000 to well over $100,000. While the first number is the median, salary also depends on where a person works, years of experience and even job performance. Physician assistants can work in hospitals, clinics and a wide range of other health facilities.
Physician Assistant Job Duties
Physician assistants have a wide range of job duties that they must perform and perform well. These include everything from reviewing patients medical files to prescribing medicine as necessary. They also include conducting physical exams on patients, ordering diagnostic tests, diagnosing a patients illness or injury, providing treatment for patients, counseling patients and their families with any questions they might have, researching treatment options and participating in outreach programs.
What Tasks Is a Physician Assistant Legally Allowed to Perform?
A physician assistant in Florida is legally allowed to do everything that the head physician does as long as they allow it. These tasks must be performed only under the supervision of the head physician, while it is not legal to do anything that the head physician does not also do. The limit to these tasks in Florida is set by the supervising physician.