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UGoLong last won the day on September 16

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About UGoLong

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  1. You can clearly return to your home state and work; it happens all the time. The bigger issue is having or building a network in your home state through which you can find that job. Some students arrange for some of their rotations to be back home (if your program allows that) while others have contacts from their previous healthcare experience. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  2. To get provisional accreditation, there is a requirement for a prospective PA program to line up adequate sites. Of course, this is done at least a year (and probably more) before the first students get placed and things can always change. Getting clinical sites is an issue for most programs. As more programs start in the same geographic area, there is more competition for sites. This will be true to a degree with whatever program you attend. Even for established programs, building and maintaining a broad set of clinical sites is an ongoing effort. Let's say that a large local hospital system has had a long relationship with a university and helps train its medical residents. Later, the university adds a PA program and the hospital system decides to extend its relationship and give these new PA students preference in clinical rotations. That means that other PA programs in the general area who formerly used the hospital system will have to adjust and find replacement rotations for its students. As far as PANCE passing rates, yes all programs teach the same material, but that does not guarantee similar results! Kind of like all cars pass the same federal safety standards, but their rides and amenities can differ wildly. All programs are supposed to post their test passing rates so you can investigate. Picking a school is like picking anything else you spend money on. Doing some research can make a big difference in your decision. Good luck!
  3. I would recommend that you send an update of your HCE directly to the program just before their application deadline. Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  4. From a "legal" standpoint, going to a school that has provisional status allows you to finish the program and sit for your boards. If it fails to get full accreditation later (i.e., after you start), your class will still be allowed to graduate and take their boards. If you are the school's first class, chances are their next accreditation visit will come after your class graduates. From a practical standpoint, especially if the program has yet to graduate a class, you have to be careful. I graduated in the third class of a program that had not yet graduated a class when I started. I had met most of the faculty, which was led by an experienced director with many years starting and running other PA programs. I talked with students from the classes ahead of me. I liked the program's strategy and faculty. I went there and was very pleased with my experience. Other programs have been started by leaders who seem to have started programs elsewhere but do not seem to last long running them. (Kind of like home some entrepreneurs seem to start companies that eventually they are unable to run successfully) Programs with lots of faculty turnover. Programs that, in spite of having other medical programs on campus, don't really benefit all that much from that. So, from a practical standpoint, while going to a new program will let you take your boards, you have to do some research to see if you feel the place is right for you. It just might be. Or not. Good luck!
  5. If you are going to order an ABG anyway, order an ABG with lactate. I highly second EMEDPA's recommendation. More on K+ (in chem 7 and CMP and renal panel) and Mg++ (not in any panel I know of): - Keep K+ >= 4.0 and Mg++ >=2.0 to avoid paroxysmal AFib (K+) or nonsustained vtach (Mg++). Loss of K+ is often from vomiting (or Lasix). Loss of Mg++ is often from diarrhea (or PPIs). - Hard to hold the right K without the right Mg++. To replace K+: for every 0.1 below 4.0 for K+, give 10 meq K+ by any route (po or IV). I never give more than 40 meq po q4h x 2 without a recheck. - For every 0.2 below 2.0 for Mg++, give 1 gram magnesium sulfate IV. I've had poor luck replacing it orally: too much and they get diarrhea and it is way less bioavailable than IV Mg++. I never give more than 4 grams IV without a recheck. In a jam, 400-800 mg MaxOx bid or 5 mL milk of magnesia po bid. Remember that K+ and Mg++ are mostly intracellular lytes and you are testing the value extracellularly. It might take a while to reach equillibrium. (Like dripping water on a sponge until it is uniformly wet on the outside). Hope this helps someone.
  6. They will probably talk about it. There is nothing wrong with asking, but if you want to go there, I wouldn't dwell on it. Anyone who goes there now will get to graduate and take their boards, regardless of what happens. In general, it takes about two years for a program to get off probation. Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
  7. Your grades are fine and your experience is interesting; not everyone has their HCE in psych, but it should be considered well in many programs. The combined A&P is not always preferred by PA programs; most want separate courses and both with labs. Do your research there. It sounds like you'd be worth a shot here. Good luck!
  8. Interviewers ask, more to see what you’re up to. Some applicants really want a particular program, for various reasons. One of my classmates didn’t want to move; she lived across the river from our school, graduated, and went back across the river to work. i don’t feel that you’ll be at a disadvantage because you only applied to one program ( aside from the obvious fact that you only have one chance of being accepted somewhere this round.) Just be straight up as to why you want to go there. And good luck!
  9. You should consider actually using your hands to learn when it comes to procedures, or even anatomy. Touch bones while you use an atlas. Suture practice materials (our program has students take home suturing sets, knot-tying kits, etc). For hands-on skills, it's hard to remember what you saw. It's easier to remember what you actually did. Like you'll know how to ride a bike for the rest of your life.
  10. I see this attitude (and have displayed it myself!) quite a bit over the years. We get a goal in mind, work towards it singlemindedly, and get there, assuming that we're done: time to enjoy. In reality, what we want to do often changes. If things seem to suck, maybe they suddenly do or maybe our tastes have changed. We all go through life while we keep learning what works for us and what doesn't. Sometimes a high suckiness factor means you just need to find a different position and sometimes it means you need a career change. As far as options go, making enough money is part of it, but I submit most of us won't really be happy with our work until we find something that, at least for the moment, satisfies us. Finally, being unhappy about your job is a blessing; at least you know that you are currently off-track and can start exploring alternatives. After you drive back and forth to work for a few years, you can lose sight that there are an incredible number of options out there. They're there: start exploring! Good luck!
  11. I was not saying that full-timers went part-time in our service to finish school; they just worked it out with their buddies to swap shifts (or often just 3-6 hours) so they could go to take a class. Being on 24 and off 48 isn't conducive to going to a class that meets every Monday and Wednesday, for example, so they worked out these trades. Many of them didn't have bachelor degrees and so they became RNs, often through local associate degree programs. They then gravitated to ED work and then got BSN degrees, which are available on-line. One has since gone full-time as a nurse in a cath lab and is now getting her masters to become an NP. I have also known full-time firefighter/paramedics who became PAs, often first getting their BS part-time. It can be a long haul. As a PA, I value a PA education. I also work with NPs who I respect, after they get enough experience post-degree to make up for their more limited clinical training. The point of all of this is that you can work full-time as an EMT and get your degree and/or prerequisites. You just need (a) a department that allows you to work trades and (b) friends willing to do that for you.
  12. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts! Thank you so much for sharing!  I start school in January and am a son, father, and husband.  However I’m not the grandfather like you were. I’ll be staying in school during the week and driving back and fourth every other weekend.  I just wanted to say thanks for the positive encouragement. Have a great day. Tom

    1. UGoLong



      My very best to to you on your adventure ahead! I drove back and forth every weekend myself (unless I had an early-week test and then my wife came to visit me). It was an adventure of a lifetime and sends a good message to your kids: you are never too old to follow a dream.

      Please keep me posted as to your progress.


  13. It is difficult, but not impossible, to work full time and go to school for your prereqs. Rule one is to do well in school, so don't overload yourself and put your grades at risk. Being an EMT is a great way to get HCE. I have always worked part-time at it (still do, nearly 12 years after becoming a PA) and many of our full-timers have gone on to school, often as RNs. Working unit days (24 on and 48 off) can be a problem, unless a class is on-line or they can arrange to swap shifts (or part of the shift) on class days, which is generally what they do. As I said, rushing through lots of prereqs while working and putting your grades at risk is not a recipe for success. Good luck.
  14. Take the GRE. It will widen your window of schools and may would also show you can do graduate work in case there are doubts with your grades. Take the classes that fell out of the 5 year window as necessary. Consider taking something like pathophysiology and getting an A. It is a good facsimile of PA level coursework. Good luck!
  15. I don't work in the ER and got the sample question wrong! I don't know the latest-and-greatest rules for efficient use of head CT scans, so that isn't "walking around knowledge" for me. At first, I thought I might like to try the pilot (I'm due in 2018 anyway) but now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll just do my standard board review and take the PANRE; I'll be 82 before I would need to take it again!