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  1. Hey y'all, So I wanted to get some advice on a possible future career as a PA. I've been very interested in the profession for the past few months even though I've only been reading about it online. I feel like I might still need to shadow a PA in order to really make sure but for now I do see myself doing it. I'm an MLT working at a hospital for the last two and a half years. I'm finishing up my Bachelor's in Biology this fall and plan to take both A&P 1 and 2 at my nearby community college in the spring. I will also be getting certified as an MT after graduation. Yay! The school that I'm interested in at the moment is Shenandoah University. I know that I'm good with all the requirements except for, of course, HCE. Their website actually lists HCE as "not required, but highly suggested and considered" by their admissions committee. I want to know how I can pair up my MLT experience with something else that involves patient contact . I've considered doing phlebotomy here at the hospital but I don't think it's sufficient according to some forum topics I've read. Also, my hospital offers training to be an interpreter (I'm bilingual in Spanish) so that might get me to at least see patients? I make good but not that great money as an MLT and going back to school for EMT, CNA, or RN to work for less and spend more money on tuition would be my last option. Potentially, I would like to apply in a year. I want to know if it's worth to apply that soon by using phlebotomy as my patient contact hours and doing some shadowing or really just wait longer and do EMT, LPN, or CNA. Also, it's possible for me to work part-time, so doing volunteering or finding work as an MA could work too? But then again, I would be making less. I know that I have mentioned a lot but your advice and/or comments would be greatly appreciated :) -Paulina
  2. Local VA made the news yesterday after a patient was transported via EMS to the facility recently, patient later allegedly walked out (details sketchy), and was later found deceased. Individual had been reported to PD as a "critical missing" individual. Interesting comment that I read was that local PD were investing the case and was looking at the facility. First of all, how many folks have we seen leave an ED without saying they were going to do so (even as in this case he was reported as a critical missing, which I'm not sure the hospital would have necessarily been aware of), and second of all, what jurisdiction does local PD have over a federal facility? I would assume none.
  3. Hello! I though it would be fun to get a discussion going about experiences as ED scribes. I know this is a growing job for many pre-health professionsals and have noticed that more and more schools are accepting scribing as "hands on" care, even though we are not allowed to touch patients. Do you feel your experiences as a scribe have given you a better idea of what life is like as a PA? Personally, I love scribing and can't imagine many other experiences that would allow me to learn as much about the profession as I have doing anything else. After scribing in multiple settings, I already feel as if I have a good head-start on thinking about what specialities I would enjoy the most and have even been able to gear some of my undergraduate classes toward my interests. Do you have any favorite experiences as a scribe? Or worst? Know of any schools or PAs that really appreciate the experience and knowledge that scribing has provided you?
  4. Hello all, I've asked before and this time I have the concrete numbers to ask, what is my chance? I applied to one program before and did have an interview but got rejected. B.A Psychology, Minor Biology. GPA: 3.1 SGPA:2.7 Last 60 Credits: 3.2 Last 2 semester: 3.75 HCE: EMT 2 years volunteered and paid, psych hospital clerk .5 years HCE Hours: 2000 Community Service: 1888 hours GRE: 153 verbal / 151 quantitative / 4 writing. The last two semesters I've juggled 34 credits an internship and work. The difference between those and my previous GPA was that I finally accepted my ADHD diagnosis since a kid and started treatment; I have always had dyslexia (language/test taking) as well. I would assume realistically that my chances are slim. Maybe I'll luck out and get one interview if I apply to 8 schools in my area. In the mean time I have paramedic courses for the fall/spring.
  5. First off I wish to express my gratitude and sheer excitement to become part of the PA family! Although school hasn't started I have found myself running around to complete pre-orientation requirements (physical, immunizations, transcripts, etc.). I have also spent copious hours reading almost all posts made within this forum, and discovered some pertinent information to help guide me through this new journey. Babbling aside, I want some input from PA students and practicing PA's in regards to my personal situation. There has been much dialogue about Healthcare experience and how quality experience is essential for not only program success, but also job acquisition upon graduation. I am curious as to how well my personal healthcare experience has equipped me for my future endeavor. I am 24 years old and graduated with a double bachelors in Microbial Cell Science and Food science Human Nutrition, GPA- 3.89 SGPA 3.91 GRE Verbal 158 Quantitative 167 . Throughout my 4 years of High School (yes high school) and subsequent winter and summer breaks throughout undergrad I worked within a Primary Physicians office. At first filing was the extent of my duties, but after that first year of work my responsibilities graduated to basic MA tasks: PT history, Vital signs, and EKG testing. Whilst working in the Dr's office I also gained knowledge of Lab testing, imaging results, and health insurance billing. Furthermore, throughout undergrad I volunteered in the ER for 2 years biweekly, I shadowed a pediatric orthopedic surgeon along with interoffice PAs, and taught a medical careers class which had a section devoted to the PA profession. Aside from the MA work I did within the DR's office, I have no other DIRECT PT contact experience. I would like to know how detrimental this will be to my studies and future job search. After reading a few blogs describing how it's a shame programs accept applicants with low-quality experience and how it'll reek havoc on my future, I found my excitement has been replaced with fear. I never questioned my PT care experience nor doubted my future clinical abilities until now. I guess the few forum naysayers really have me slumming :(... Maybe i just need some words of encouragement. P.S. This forum has been a blessing, providing a surplus of quality information, I am gracious to all members making posts to help guide the current and future generations of physician assistants :).
  6. Hello, So I work as a Direct Support Professional at a non-profit organization that gives employment opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Basically, my responsibilities involve supervising, talking with, and providing the employees with anything they might need during the day (Ex: helping transport those who cannot get around the shop, feeding, giving some medications). I didn't know if I should count this as direct or indirect because to me it seems like a little bit of both. Or would this even be considered HCE hours at all? Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
  7. Looking for some HCE feedback. Been working @ VA for 3+ years, all PTSD research - first two years were as EMG startle tech (running emg testing 1on1, 12 patients a day) working on base with AD marines. Now last 8 months is PTSD screening (CAPS) appointments with veterans I screen for eligibilty and schedule myself. Appointments include 2x 1on1 sessions; I assess for validity and we discuss trauma, symptoms and other life stressors in depth, before they are randomized (if I deem eligible) to a treatment program. Usually 5+ hours 1on1 per patient. Also includes lab work, I don't draw blood (no phlebotomy training) but take patients to clinic and process samples after. Occasionally consult with supervising MD but mostly working solo. MD has no interactions with patients other than if I deem SI to be extreme. Patients vary, but majority have comorbid diagnoses - bipolar, major depression, BPD, schizophrenia, substance abuse etc. Planning to take EMT cert in Spring and hopefully work in the field part-time alongside school & VA position (study ends when I start my BS) for next 3 years. (Already have British college time which accounted for VA position but credits not accepted by CA schools due to how long ago it was/some not transferable) Question is, will any of my psych work count at all towards HCE? I'm aware research is one of those touchy areas. Thanks in advance for any info.
  8. Just wondering how to do the following: a) I have clinical experience from my CNA course. Should I log those hours in under patient care experience, HCE, or don't include them at all? b) Should I put every semester that I was on the Dean's List? c) How do you put job promotions? As in, I started as a CNA, but then I was appointed to Shift Lead, or I started as a Teacher and then was appointed to Lead Teacher. Do I mention that promotion under the Work Experience or under Leadership? d) As for the Awards/Honors section, in the instructions it says "relevant awards and honors..." Does that mean everything that is not specifically health care related should be skipped?!?! f) Also, do ppl actually split experiences based on what "best describes" it when referring to 1 job? For example, since I was working a CNA graveyard shift, maybe 1/3 the shift was direct patient care, the other 2/3 was cleaning and paperwork. If I split it, that brings down my patient care hours a lot lower than I had thought I'd originally accumulated... Boo. Thanks for the feedback!
  9. I was a corpsman in the Navy for 6 years, I've worked bedside care on the ICU, a year in a recovery unit, became a surgical technologist with experience scrubbing in ophthalmology, L&D, MOR, and plastic surgery, and worked pretty much as a PA while deployed to Kuwait, accumulating over 12,000 hours of hands-on patient care experience. I was duty section leader while deployed and was in charge of 8 others. I have awesome recommendations, a pretty stellar narrative, a bachelors in Health Care administration and graduated cum laude with a 3.58, pretty much my application looks awesome except for one thing- I just finished calculating my science GPA and its a depressing 2.84. I thought I read somewhere that CASPA drops your lowest repeat grade but I was wrong. After getting my degree I applied for a post-bacc program and started off in the summer taking Gen Chem II and Bio II - big mistake because the last science class was four years prior. With a fast paced summer class it was a recipe for diaster, I got a D in Gen Chem II. I retook it though at the same institution and got a B. I'm in a post bacc program right now and I've been getting As and Bs in every course, which are specifically the prereqs and which account for most of my science classes. It shows that I've been getting better at studying etc, especially with an A+ in Ochem last semester. I still have Microbiology to take this summer, along with A&P II this fall, so I haven't even finished all my prereqs yet, but UTSW says I can still apply as long as i finish before Dec 31st. If I apply now before taking Micro this summer, it'll show a 2.84 CASPA, but if I wait til after the summer and get an A in Micro (fingers crossed), my GPA should bump up to a 3.11 which is still pretty depressing. If I apply now with CASPA showing a 2.84 but two more classes to take, what are my chances of getting accepted? I would hope my experience, recommendations and a great narrative would pull up my chances, but I'm not sure. Should I wait to submit my application until after taking Micro this summer so that CASPA will show a 3.11 science GPA? I'd really like to apply early instead of rushing my transcripts off in August when the deadline is Oct 1st at UTSW. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks
  10. I have volunteered in different places and different amount of hours along with experience through school organization. I am in medical careers club and AED member where we would volunteer at habitat for humanity, downtown rescue mission, life south blood donation, making crafts and visiting children at the hosptial, community services such as street festival or relay for life, fundraisers, focus first and so many more. Now my question is how would I include this on caspa? Would I have to list each of the volunteer separately? Also, how would I differentiate between hce and community service done under the school organization? Would I just list all health care experience from the club as one volunteer and other volunteer or community events as one under community service? Thanks In advance for the help!
  11. So I am currently on my obgyn rotation. The owner of the facility has informed me that I am not allowed to inform the doctors, staff or patients that I am a PA student but reply that I am an MA student. I can't wear my white coat while on rotation either. I mostly finish writing in charts, stock rooms and take vitals. I have completed one vaginal exam that NP let me do when the owner was not there. What can I do? I know as a student Im at the bottom but having to lie about my student status just kills me. I have worked very hard to be a PA-S2 and i dont think I can last 6 weeks here and keep quiet.
  12. I am interested in shadowing a PA in the RDU area. If you know anyone around this area who will allow me to shadow them please let me know at njaibat92@gmail.com Thanks!
  13. Background (most recent to past): Psych EMS (2.5 years on current squad) Other EMS agencies for about 1.5 years Adult Day Services Doctor office What can I do to make myself stand out in the application process? High school I completed my Gold Award in Girl Scouts but I don't think PA programs are looking for that even though only 3% of people world wide complete that.
  14. mbh2

    HCE during gap year

    After graduating this May with a B.S. in Biology, I am going to get my CNA certification to gain health care experience before applying for PA school. I am wondering how this will work during the application process... I graduate May 10th, if I can find a class to be certified by June, then hopefully find a job relatively quickly, I will just be starting to gain hours by the time I will be starting my application. I understand the advantages of submitting early, but after you submit are you allowed to update at all? This will be my first time applying and the process kind of confuses me but by November or so I (hopefully) will have much more HCE than in July/August when I hope to have my application in, and I would like to be able to account for those hours also. Thanks for any feedback!
  15. Hello, I am about to graduate in the spring with a B.S. in Biology. I have a 3.8 GPA, research experience, 20 hours PA shadowing, volunteer/ECs however no health care experience and I haven't take the GRE. I am scheduled for a CNA training course and I can be done by June, but so many people say apply early, and I definitely can see the benefit in this. On the current track that I am on though, I would just start acquiring HCE by the time I should have my CASPA submitted... at the same time self-studying for the GRE and taking it at some point (likely July)... would August/September be "too late"?? I don't want to waste all of this money to apply to 10 programs if by the time CASPA is submitted I look like a weak applicant (low HCE and possibly low GRE because of lack of time to study). However I feel conflicted because I know by the time I would matriculate (if I am even accepted the first time) I will have a whole year of HCE. I feel somewhat rushed but I'm having a hard time distinguishing if this is the "nerves" that come with first-time applicants or if I'm really running out of time to get everything completed by a reasonable date. ALSO, one of the most annoying problems of all - my bachelors degree took the typical 4 years to complete; HOWEVER, I took college classes during high school (for example, psychology, sociology, english 101, calculus)... I took some my junior and senior year of high school, which makes those classes 6 years old already... And since I am taking a gap year that would make these classes 7 years old, if I waited another year to feel less rushed it'd be 8 and my top school (Toledo) requires prereqs within 7 years of matriculating. So the expiration date on my prereqs are also a factor in why I want to apply this cycle. I would very much appreciate any feedback.
  16. First of all, I want to say that I am very thrilled to have gotten into PA school. I can't wait till July when I start school. Now, I figured I come back to reality and really see how much I will owe. Yesterday I sat down and after punching in some numbers, I got a lot more than I expected. I got into a school in NYC (27 months). The tuition with fees, books, and supplies, the total was around 88k. As for the living expenses, with rent, utilities, transportation, and food, I figured $2000 per month (is this too little?). After 27 months, the total will be 142k!! Is this reasonable? I was expecting 100k total but I guess I was wrong. I have 25k from undergrad so with everything together, I will be in lots of debt. Is this the norm? For those of you in school, did you take out 100% of tuition and living expenses in loans? Help!! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  17. I am currently in college, and I am considering studying to become a Registered Dietitian. However, my NUMBER ONE goal is to become a PA. Becoming an RD wouldn't be a short path--I'd graduate with the degree, complete an 8-month internship, and THEN begin paid work. If I continue to pursue this path and then work for a year or two as an RD, will this count as health care experience or will I just be wasting my time? Thanks!
  18. I have a question regarding my current situation with HCE. I am a Pre-PA currently working as a med/surg nursing assistant (full time) as well as a medical scribe in 2 hospital EDs (part time). I believe that these two positions are providing me with great medical experience and patient contact. However, I am getting bored as an NA, as I've been there a year and feel as though I have learned all there is to learn in a position with no room for growth (not to mention lack of pay and working nights!). I was told about a position at a local oncology clinic as a clinical research coordinator (full time) that sounds interesting. Benefits: working days (vs. my current night-shift), new experiences/training, etc. My issue is this: do you think I am getting better HCE working as an NA/scribe than I would as a clinical research coordinator? Does it look bad (to schools) to change jobs like this? Like I said, I feel as though I am getting some great experience, but frankly, I am unhappy in my position as an NA, and am constantly searching job openings because of it. If you guys think I'm getting better experience doing what I'm already doing, I'll stick it out - getting into PA school is the goal, so I'll do whatever is best to get to that point! Thanks!
  19. OK OK one more HCE question ... Does anyone know if Physician Assistant schools care if your HCE is accredited and/or licensed? The reason I ask is because I found a very cheap (a private company/school) place to get HCE. I am just worried once I finish the CNA program will I be able to find a job because it is not through a community college or a well known place. Do you think PA schools frown upon this?
  20. Hi, I graduated two years ago from UW-Madison with a degree in English and all of my PA school pre-reqs done. My overall GPA = 3.7 My science GPA = 3.8 Here is my health care experience Nursing home CNA 7 months = 368 hrs Hospital CNA 11 months = 1000 hrs Volunteer stuff: Clinic volunteer in Peru 5 months ~300 hrs Clinic volunteer in Tanzanaia 5 months ~300 hrs I am confident about my GPA, but I don't feel like my health care experience is very competitive because I kept taking breaks from being a paid CNA to do medical volunteering abroad, which schools won't think as highly of (although it was totally worth it). Is it even worth applying in the next cycle or should I get another CNA hospital job and work for another year to be more competitive?
  21. Hey Guys, I have an interview coming up with this program. However, I cant find any information on their curriculum. It is very vague on the website. Are there any current students out there that can shed some light on the subject? Do they have cadavers? Where are rotation sites? What are the options for elective rotations? etc. I want to do primary care, but I also have a strong affinity for sugery as well. I would like the confidence by being able to dissect cadavers before cutting into live patients.
  22. Hello, Well as you can tell by my post count I'm fairly new to this thread, but not so much to the internet itself and how these things work. I've been searching around about the PA program requirements and am assuming that HCE is the clinical hours required. I was looking at LLU and the RCC PA program which require 2,000 hands on experience and to be totally fair, I haven't yet talked to anyone in person. I plan to, but that won't be for another two weeks and so I was hoping to find an answer on this board sooner than that. My question, I currently have my CNA and have worked in the past for over a year, but it wasn't hospital based. It was a SNF [skilled nursing facility], so am I correct to assume these hours don't count? I'm SoCal based, so would I be better off trying to get into hospitals in which the hours would count? Is it hospitals only? Or are there clinics I could apply to? I'm not in a rush and definitely have some time before I even finish my requirements for the PA, as I still haven't finished all science courses. I was just thinking it'd be nice to be in a work setting that helped me while I finished up my pre-reqs. I'd appreciate any advice or previous experience/expectations.
  23. Hi everyone! So I am in a unique situation that makes getting HCE quite difficult. Currently I am pursuing a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from a a very small school that has a required co-op in order to graduate. Due to this required co-op I move every 3 months between school and work. My co-op job is actually in a chemistry lab doing organic synthesis work in research and development. Due to this hectic schedule, the 11 weeks I am at school I am swamped with schoolwork since I typically take a 20 credit class load. On the other hand during work term I work from 8-5 everyday and then at least once a week make the half-hour trip to go shadow some PAs in the ER at a local hospital. Due to this co-op schedule, my undergraduate program is a 4.5 year program instead of 4, however, by the time I graduate I will have 2 years of real work experience. Since my program is a 4.5 year program, I will be graduating in December of 2014 and I really would prefer to start PA school in 2015 instead of having to take off over a year from school. I was wondering if anybody had any advice on what avenues I could pursue to help procure some HCE hours that would fit into my crazy schedule. Also I would like some advice on how to improve my chances of getting into PA school. Posted below is my GPA along with other information: Science GPA: ~3.25 (I go to a school that only offers sciences and engineering. That being said I also was taking organic chemistry along with my physics classes and not being able to eat due to some weird stomach condition that took over a year for doctors to diagnose.) Cumulative GPA: ~3.39 (I plan on bringing this up quite a bit since I still have 3 more school terms left, and these classes are also more biology based which I excel at. The reason my GPA is so low is due to organic chemistry ©, physics ©, and calculus (1-3) classes©.) Extra Information Vice-President of Pre-Med Club for the past two years GEO (Greener Engineering Organization) During my work terms I shadow PAs in the ER Aquaneers (Scuba Diving Club) Job Shadow Gastroenterologist Hands on Job Shadow Hospital County Morgue Research and Development Chemist (Co-op Job, Since June 2011) President of Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society Department Volunteer ( I give tours to potential students of our labs during our school open houses, and tell potential students and parents about the program and the co-op program) Doctor for a Day Volunteer I know its not very much and I would really appreciate any suggestions on how to strengthen my application. I was debating between medical school and PA school but after talking to many people and hours of research, I found that PA school is the right decision for me and the type of personality that I have. Thank you for taking the time to read my ridiculously long post! Again any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :)
  24. Hello all, I would really appreciate some help deciding who to list as a reference. Two of my references will be PAs that I've shadowed, which is all set. My confusion is related to getting a reference from my job, which I'm counting as HCE, so I figure it would be good to have a reference from there. I've been working as a mental health recovery counselor, working with chronically, pretty severely mentally ill clients; I work on their individual goals, administer medications, coordinate care with other providers, etc. The organization is a big mental health services organization in Western Mass, sponsored by the DMH. My direct supervisor is my Program Director/Team leader and I know he would give me an excellent reference; he also works with me most directly and knows me and my work well. However, he doesn't have any sort of official status or certification; he has been with the company for ~15 years and knows the ropes, but he doesn't have any letters after his name, basically. The other option is getting a reference from a CCM, Clinical Case Manager, which usually are an LSW or LICSW. However, our team's CCM quit in May, so I would have to go to the Senior CCM, who doesn't know me that well or work with me directly. We've done a few meetings and reviews with clients together and he reads my shift/progress notes, but I'm not sure how personal or generous his recommendation would be. So, should I go with someone without official status, or with someone whose recommendation might not be as good? Or should I not get a reference from my job at all and go with an academic reference or an MD that doesn't know me that well? Any input would be great, thank you!!
  25. I've begun my CASPA application for this year (my first) and don't know if I should report the total amount of hours I have accrued or a less accurate non-wait time only estimate? It comes to about 2,700 total hours as a EMT-B over 1 year and 3 months. Some programs seem to want only non-wait time included hours and others do not mention that specifically. What would you suggest? -Thanks
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