How to Become a Physician Assistant in Mississippi
If you’ve started to consider a career as a physician assistant, there is a lot you should know before getting started, including everything from the educational requirements of a PA to whether or not it’s necessary to become certified in the state of Mississippi. A physician assistant is someone that practices medicine, but only while under the direct supervision of a surgeon or standard physician. Some of the most basic tasks a PA will do on a daily basis include diagnosing illnesses, examining patients and providing treatment to that patient. The following will provide you with a detailed guide to what it takes to start a career as a physician assistant in Mississippi.
Physician Assistant Requirements
When starting a career as a physician assistant, there are a number of requirements that will be expected of you. These requirements can be divided into two separate categories, including work requirements and education requirements. Like all jobs within the healthcare industry, a large amount of prior education will need to be taken in order to earn the ability to become a PA. As for work requirements, you will be tasked with doing everything that the supervising physician or surgeon does, as well as any task that they delegate to you while on the job.
Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?
Once you have graduated from high school, there is still a lot of education left before you can become a PA. This education should last a total of 6-7 years. First of all, you will need to apply for a Bachelor’s degree. This degree doesn’t have to be one designed solely around curriculum for a physician assistant. However, it does typically need to be a Science degree in order for you to be able to earn passage into the next stage of your education. Once you have earned a Bachelor’s degree, you might want to consider working as an EMT or registered nurse before moving onto the rest of your education, as prior work experience in the healthcare industry will help immensely when applying to a Master’s program.
There are a wide range of Physician Assistant programs in Mississippi from which to consider applying to. These programs are Master level degrees and will provide you with the opportunity to become a PA. When choosing among the many Physician Assistant schools in Mississippi, make sure that it has been accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Throughout your studies in these programs, the curriculum will focus primarily on such areas as pharmacology, emergency medicine, diagnosis, pathology, research methods and pediatrics, as well as behavioral medicine and general surgery. During this time, you will receive a lot of hands-on training that will prepare you for a career as a PA.
Are Physician Assistants Required to be Certified?
All aspiring physician assistants will need to be certified before being able to practice medicine in the state of Mississippi, as is the case in all states. This certification can only be earned upon completion of a Physician Assistant program.
How Can a Physician Assistant Become Certified?
A PA can become certified by first completing a PA program that is fully accredited. Once this is done, it is time to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam. This exam is provided to students by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. The exam includes questions that will test you on your surgical and medical knowledge. Once passing the exam, you will receive a PA-C designation.
Is Continuing Education Necessary?
After earning a certification, all PA’s must complete 100 credits of continuing education every 2 years, with an additional requirement of passing the Physician Assistant National Recertifying Exam once every 6 years.
Physician Assistant Salary
When looking at a possible physician assistant salary Mississippi is just under $80,000. That being said, it’s possible to earn anywhere from $66,000 to $94,000 depending on your experience and the area in which you work.
Physician Assistant Job Duties
PA’s are tasked with completing a wide range of job duties every day. Almost every type of task a standard physician or surgeon will tend to is also required of a PA. This includes reviewing medical histories, conducting physical exams, ordering diagnostic tests, giving treatment, making diagnosis, educating patients and their families, prescribing medicine and occasionally conducting outreach programs.
What Tasks is a Physician Assistant Legally Allowed to Perform?
Within Mississippi, PA’s are allowed to perform all tasks that are also performed by their supervising physician. The supervising physician does not need to be on-site at all times when a PA is on duty, but the PA must have their tasks clearly listed beforehand by the supervising physician.