It can be extremely hard trying to become a physician assistant, but its still a very rewarding career to get into. The first step that should be taken in deciding to become a PA is asking yourself why you want to be one in the first place. You definitely should do this because you’ve chosen to get into this career when there are plenty more to choose from. You could have chosen to become a nurse, nurse practitioner, medical assistant, and there are many PAs who have already been employed in these careers before they even became a PA.
As a PA, you will find that this career has a lot of autonomy even though you will be working collaboratively with a physician whose supervision you are going to be under. So take a minute and ask yourself “Why on earth do I want to be a PA instead of a registered nurse, a physician or get into another medical career?” If becoming a PA is something you’re certain you want to do then you are going to have to make sure that you meet the requirements that are needed to get admitted into an accredited physician assistant program.
Almost all PA schools, at least the best PA schools, are going to require that you gained some experience working in direct contact with patients. You can get hours working as a orderly in a hospital, working as a emergency medical technician, respiratory therapist, or even as a volunteer for the American Red Cross. To get into these PA schools you will have to at least have a bachelor’s degree and you must a grade “C” or better in subjects like biology, chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, and college math. If you haven’t done these courses or you didn’t get the necessary grade then it would best that you take these classes and get the right grade.
When you decide that you are ready to choose a PA school you will have a lot to choose from. Its going to be your current living situation that will truly be the determining factor in which school you apply to. Factors like your finances, your relationship status, and where you live will all play into determining what physician assistant school is best for you. All these PA schools have deadlines for their applications, and applying early is definitely going to put you in good graces. After you apply and if you make it to the second phase, you will go to an interview at the schools that you applied to you.
Be ready to explain to them why you want to be a PA, and why you’d make a good candidate for admission into their school. PA programs usually last only 2 to 3 years and it is going to be very demanding. Most students aren’t even going to be able to work part-time at a job. The first half of the program will have students doing coursework, and the second half will involve them doing clinical rotations working alongside medical students.
After you are done and have graduate from the PA program, then you will have to take the needed licensing exams so that you can work in your state as a physician assistant. It takes intelligence, determination, fortitude and commitment to become a PA and to work as one. All the best in your journey to have a successful career as a PA.