I've learned the many ways to treat sinus infections, ear infections, thyroid management, etc, and
feel very prepared to move forward once I finally do begin PA school,
it doesn't compare to the information I've learned from scribing.
Whoa there just a second, Tex.
Not knowing a single other thing about you, I can confidently state that's an attitude that will get you into serious trouble. If you go into an interview or PA school and say or honestly believe these things, you could be in for a serious bruising.
I too was a scribe and scribe trainer for 13 months (formal school EPIC in the ED). No greater fan of scribing than I. But I want to let you in on a little secret...much of what you are learning right now...is wrong.
You heard that right. Unless it is on the PANCE and/or on your exam, the only thing that recalling specifics from your scribing days will do is cause you to miss questions and answer incorrectly when asked questions on clinical rotations. And get pissed off because you know it's "wrong"!
I'll give you an example. What are your #1 and #2 drugs to give for CAP? How about Nosocomial? Got your answer?
Your answer is wrong. It is different everywhere. The drugs I learned in the ED as a scribe were different than the drugs I gave on clinicals, and in fact were different from the drugs listed on the PANCE as correct.
I happened to be in infectious disease at the time, and many of the "first line" drugs were near 100% resistant in my area. So the doc was like, "no, no, no--who told you that?"
Specifics - you have to learn and unlearn them depending on which environment you are in. You can and might very well learn:
one thing now,
another in didactic,
another in clinicals,
and another for the PANCE (which by the way may be a few years ahead or behind any of these other modes).
I'm not saying it's everything...but we have ALL been there where in multiple choice test, ALL of those answers will probably work. One of them may have been yanked off the shelves by the FDA, but was it before or after this test was written? I just came off this rotation, and I KNOW this is right answer...but this EOR exam is from didactic year...crap...these answers all look good to me...
Get the picture here? I just wanted to say something, not trying to be an ass about it. It's just something you are going to have to adapt to.
I think scribing is great, but "carrying it forward into your career" is overstating it quite a bit. We had a number of scribes in my class, my school liked them, and the general experience was great, and the documentation part was nice, but I think most of them would agree that the rest was a double-edged sword.
To the OP's question, neither of those opportunities would be in the top tier (because the scribe is not a sure thing and it sounds too focused). Sure you can't get a CNA or Patient Tech position somewhere?
Schools vary somewhat, but the top tier is where you are touching and treating patients. Nursing, Patient tech, EMT. Followed by scribe. Bringing up the rear is stuff like lab and phlebotomy. PT aide ? I dunno - maybe in there somewhere.