How to Become a Physician Assistant in Louisiana
According to U.S. News and World Report, physician assistant is one of the best careers in health care. Read on to learn more about the requirements to become a physician assistant in the state of Louisiana and what this career entails, as well as physician assistant programs in Louisiana.
Physician Assistant Education Requirements
To become a physician assistant, you typically need a master’s degree from an accredited education program. This degree, which includes both clinical and classroom learning, usually takes about two years to complete. Before entering a master’s degree program, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a related field as well as some work experience in the health care field. Accredited physician assistant schools in Louisiana include Our Lady of the Lake; Louisiana State University in Shreveport; and Louisiana State University in New Orleans. Any of these schools is an excellent resource for more information if you want to find out more about the physician assistant profession.
Physician Assistant Certification
In Louisiana, physician assistants must be certified to practice through the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. Applicants for a physician assistant license must have graduated from a program accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA) and pass the board exam given by the National Commission on Certificate of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), as well as pay a $275 licensing fee. More information is available from the website http://www.lsbme.la.gov/licensure/physician-assistants.
Physician Assistant Continuing Education Requirements
In order to maintain licensure, physician assistants in the state of Louisiana must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years, upon which time the license must be renewed through the state board.
Physician Assistant Salary
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistants in Louisiana earn an average salary of $78,420 per year. Physician assistant salary in Louisiana is lower than the national average salary for this profession of $94,350; however, salaries tend to be higher in metropolitan areas
Physician Assistant Job Duties
According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, physician assistants may legally provide any legal medical service that is delegated to them by the physician who is supervising their practice. While scope of work varies by the type of practice, typical duties for a physician assistant may include reviewing medical histories, conducting physical exams, ordering and interpreting the results of diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, providing treatments and immunizations when needed, educating patients and their families about conditions and treatments, and other duties usually provided by a physician.
If you’re interested in becoming a physician assistant, you’ll enjoy a high level of flexibility and job stability. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this profession is expected to grow by 38 percent by 2022, which will result in an estimated 33,300 new jobs in the field. With this promising projection as well as the high salary this job affords with just a master’s degree, becoming a physician assistant is an excellent choice if you are considering a career in the medical field.