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  1. Hello! Anyone willing to share some advice on best HCE jobs in terms of admissions/experience? Background: I relocated to a new state at the end of the summer and got a job as a medical scribe in a local ED. My previous employment was in clinical research and through scribing I decided I want to be a PA. I am about to complete my EMT-B certification however, I am fairly certain that working as an EMT-B is not ideal as the only company near me uses EMT-Bs for transport only. Options: 1. Medical Office Assistant in private practice cardiologist office- Pros: get to do vitals, EKGs, 24hr holter monitors, 30-day event monitors, blood draws, counsel patients on weight loss, and physical exams for life insurance plus general office duties. Cons: 1hr commute, no PAs in the office, overbearing physician 2. Patient Care Assistant on Med/Surg floor at Hospital- Pros: get practice doing vitals, EKGs, and basic duties (lifting, bathing, bathroom assistance etc), possible meaningful experience as this floor is used for oncology patient transfer to hospice. Cons: no phlebotomy, 30-minute commute, night shift, less hands on in terms of medical skills 3. Emergency Tech- Pros: get to do vitals, EKGs, blood draws, urine specimen collection, splinting, 15-minute commute, and see a lot in a busy ER (I currently scribe there). Cons: only night shift currently available, patient interaction is brief I am super grateful to have these opportunities, but picking the right one has been difficult for me. Thank you in advance!
  2. I have a unique set of circumstances since graduating undergrad and I was wondering if anyone could give some insight on them? I had the opportunity to work a wide variety of health care jobs. I've genuinely loved all of them and being able to adapt to new environments and I've gotten to learn so much from different settings/specialties. Most of all, I feel like they help me see the patient much more as a whole after seeing them in different clinical settings. However, I'm worried that since I've worked so many jobs, it hurts my chances of getting into a PA school? I have not been actively applying for these jobs, but opportunities came up while I was working (I'm fortunate that I have a lot of family friends in medicine) and I thought that, since I was in a gap year, why not take advantage of the chance to learn more about a different field in healthcare? Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at an Assisted Living Long Term Care Facility: 2 months (training hours) Patient Care Technician (PCT) on Orthopedic Floor: 3 months Medical Assistant (MA) for Family Medicine Clinic in Rural Area: 6 months Medical Assistant (MA) for OBGYN in suburban area: 6 months (current) Medical Scribe for Cardiac & Thoracic Surgeon: 3 months (current, part time) I've recently been offered a job as a MA/medical scribe for a nephrologist through a family friend. I'm excited about the opportunity because it's a new opportunity to learn a different field and to work in a different setting. I do really enjoy my current job, but to be honest, I've feel like I've hit the point where I've learned all that I could from my job. I'm just as dedicated to healthcare and the PA profession as I've ever been, however I'm worried. Since I've changed jobs so many times in the past two years, does it look bad from a professional standpoint? I'd appreciate any feedback!
  3. Hello, I am a recent graduate from UCI with a B.S. in biological sciences (2.96 cumulative gpa). There have been ups and downs in my undergraduate years in the beginning but I was able to graduate with a science degree. I was so lost until a friend of mine recommended me to look into becoming a PA myself. I now have a new goal but my gpa is a major setback. I cannot afford the post bacc route but my grades from the last 1.5 years are at least 3.3 and up (taken only upper science courses). Plus I did research in Huntington disease for 1.5 years, soon to get a paper published. Also, I did volunteer work with underprivileged high school students as well. Right now I am looking into becoming a scribe and volunteering at a local hospital. Also, rocking the GRE. Realistically getting into top 20 pa schools is improbable, but becoming a pa shouldn't be dependent on the ranking of the school right? I really want some constructive advice on how I can improve my chances. 1. Comments on my chances with my current set plans? 2. Should I just take community college courses on pre-reqs that are C's (all my pre-reqs are Cs or higher) 3. Can a high GRE score compensate/help my chances despite the low gpa? 4. Any success stories like mine recently?
  4. Hello! I am in the process of listing my health care and work experience. Does anyone know if it is preferable to simply list responsibilities or to write everything out in full sentences? I am finding it hard to describe everything given the 660 character limit. Any advice is appreciated! Thanks so much!
  5. I am a non traditional student. I recently started college full time at age 27. I am married with 2 kids. I just started my sophmore year. I have 0 HCE hours at this point. Actually I just have 0 hours for anything right now. (I worked as a waitress for the last 8 years). My schedule is already pretty intense and I am having a hard time figuring out how to acrue HCE hours. I know I will have a strong GPA and GRE test scores as I am a strong student. I am going to start volunteering in the emergency department at my local hospital next month and have some shadowing oppertunities lined up. I also may have the option of working as a PCA at a nursing home PRN. (I am currently not working) Does anyone know if being a PCA will work for patient care experience? Any way I look at it, I will be lucky if I hit 1000 hours of HCE by the time I start applying. I know this is on the very low side of HCE hours, but will it really hurt my chances of acceptance? I know its early, but I like to plan ahead. Any advice is appreciated.
  6. Hi All, I'm really excited to pursue a career as a PA, but I'm nervous that I don't have the right experience. I have health care experience, but not necessarily doing direct patient care. I worked in patient registration for two years in the ED, and then another year in hospital admissions. I've also worked as a ward clerk/unit coordinator for urgent care for about 6 months. Then I worked as a project manager for 6 outpatient clinics to reduce no-shows. Would these experiences count as health care experience? I had direct contact with patients in each of these roles, but I was not responsible for any care plans. Now, I'm a community health worker for an affordable housing agency where I provide health education and accompany patients to their medical appointments. Would this be considered health care experience even though I am employed by a social service agency and not a medical provider? I've considered becoming a CNA, but I'm afraid it would be a backwards step for me. Please note I do not intend to offend anyone because I have much respect for CNAs, it's just that getting my CNA would be a financial burden for me at this time. I finished my MPH two years ago, so I must work full-time to fulfill my financial obligations and going back to school for CNA would require me to reduce work hours. Instead of getting my CNA, could I use shadowing experience? Thanks for any advice!
  7. Hello! I have a question regarding quality of Health Care Experience. I have been a Licensed Esthetician for about 5 years now, specifically working under a Dermatologist performing Laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and acne treatments. Can this kind of work qualify as experience? It qualifies as Assistant to Dermatologist in some cases, but by any slim chance are there any Esthetician's here who may have been in a similar situation regarding HCE? Thanks!
  8. I am working on my application in CASPA... and I have a few questions regarding HCE. I know that direct patient care experience would be my job working as a derm medical assistant.. But I have a few things that I am not sure qualify as general health care experience: 1.) Dietary Clerk in a nursing home - I had to create meal plans with the dietitian and residents based off of their meal restrictions, etc. 2.) Residential counselor (senior year of college Practicum for credit) The position was a residential counselor for a group home with people who have dual illness. I had to assist in managing illness/sobriety of the individuals and help them develop independent skills to transition to a more independent setting. Thank you for your responses and help!! Clarification would be great!
  9. If my research projects involved taking various anthropometric measurements such as blood pressure, body fat percent, VO2 max, maximum strength and power, etc., Can it be considered healthcare experience, patient care or is it just research?
  10. Hello everyone!!!! This is my first time posting on this forum so i'm hoping I'm doing it right. A little bit about my background: I went to the University of Miami (2014) and graduated with a GPA of 3.0 with a bachelors of Microbiology and Immunology and minors in Biology and Chemistry. Then I went on and got my masters at Barry University in Biomedical Sciences and graduated this past May (2016) with a GPA of 3.6 I have a 2 year research experience at the microbiology lab at Miller school of Medicine in Miami, 160 hours of shadowing with different physicians (Urology, Obgyn, Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology) Also, I have accumulated over 120 hours volunteering at Cleveland Clinic florida at the ER working on both health care experience (greeting and bringing patients to the back, restocking the shelves, providing blankets and pillows to patients, serving food and also cleaning the rooms, organizing the charts and more...) as well as direct patient care (taking the patients vitals such as blood pressure, measuring height and weight, oxygen saturation and more...) so basically my ER hours can be used for both sections on the CASPA I have all my letters of recommendations (one from a PA, one from a charged nurse at the ER and one from my director in grad school) but I haven't taken my GRE yet! My problem is that I am not sure this is competitive enough, should I go and get certified as a CNA or even MA or even a scribe? or should I apply right now with what I have so far? is it too late to apply? I'm interested in applying to all schools in Florida but my first choice is Nova in Orlando. I need your opinion please!!
  11. Hey! I am wondering if any of you guys have found ways to get experience in the OR as part of your HCE aside from becoming a certified surgical tech? I am planning to apply to PA school next cycle (to matriculate 2018) and I'm currently working as a certified medical assistant (after getting my B.S. in biotechnology), but I'd love to get a job in an OR. However, all the OR jobs I've found require at least the two year surgical tech degree and I definitely don't want to spend all the time and money becoming a surg tech when I'm planning to apply to PA school. Has anybody ever gotten to work in the OR without becoming a surgical tech?
  12. Seen by a PA, presumed ingestion and missed meningitis. Reserving any judgements as details are unknown. Lawsuit filed by family. The husband of a Brooklyn woman who died of an untreated form of meningitis, slammed Coney Island Hospital with a lawsuit Thursday alleging that his wife was misdiagnosed as emotionally disturbed or suffering from an illegal drug reaction by "careless" and "negligent" medical staff. Grisel Soto, 47, spent her last hours alive strapped to a gurney and prescribed anti-psychotic medication, while the lethal infection raged in her brain. After she arrived in the emergency room last January, Soto was seen only by a nurse and a physician's assistant until she went into cardiac arrest several hours later, according to lawyer Sanford Rubenstein who filed the suit in Brooklyn Supreme Court on behalf of widower Jorge Matos. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/coney-island-hospital-hit-wrongful-death-lawsuit-article-1.2659362
  13. How detailed do the "experience" descriptions need to be? I'm a medic - is it safe to assume they'll understand the tasks, or should I list them (e.g., start IVs, administer meds)? Thanks!
  14. Hello, I am currently a junior and if I want to start PA school next fall, I need to apply this summer, but I'm unsure if my stats would allow me to be competitive enough to actually get accepted to any schools. I was hoping to gather some opinions on whether I would be a competitive enough applicant to apply now or if I should wait until next cycle.\ STATS: GPA: 3.9 HCE: I will have about 600 hours as a CNA in a nursing home and as a volunteer at a health clinic doing intakes and vitals Shadowing: I have about 20 hours but plan on aquiring at least 20 more before applying If I should apply this cycle, any suggestions as to which schools I would be a competitive applicant for on the east coast? Thanks
  15. Hi PA Forum community! I stumbled on this website during my research about the PA profession about a year ago and would read through these forums on the daily, but I never had much courage until now to actively seek out some help! I really want to get into PA school but I don't have the most stellar GPA. I will be graduating Stony Brook University next week but I had a first 2 years in college, unfortunately leaving me with only a 2.7 GPA :( My grades did, however, increase my last two years of undergrad. I have been a pharmacy technician for almost a year and a half, but I know that doesn't really count towards HCE. I will be starting work as a medical scribe in the next few weeks to help me get HCE for the next year or two. I've also been on a medical mission during my undergrad as well, and I've been shadowing one of my professors who's also a PA. I can't decide on how to help myself raise my GPA. Some forums say that applying to post-bacc programs are not worth it, but some say they are. Some forums say that I should just take non-matriculated classes. I just really want some solid guidance as to how I can pursue the next few years of my time to gear myself up for PA school, academically. If you guys also know of any programs that would be helpful for me on Long Island, or NYC that would be really helpful as well. I'm really determined and I work really hard. This is something I really want for myself and I just want the best advice. Please don't tell me not to pursue this career path. I've shadowed PA's and I really can't see myself doing anything else. Thank you so much to everyone in advance for your help!
  16. I've decided to change careers, and wanted to triple check and confirm something so I don't misrepresent anything on my future application. On CASPA there's PCE, HCE, Employment, Research, etc. I've worked for years in the pharmaceutical industry and have experience in clinical trials. Would this all be under HCE, or Research? I thought it would be under Employment, but that's for "paid work done outside of the health care field," and I would think pharmaceuticals would be in the health care field. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  17. I'm changing career, and I've read people listing their experience as a dance instructor on their application, and that makes sense. I have very little HCE as I've only been able to volunteer at a hospice for little under a year as a full-time student, and don't think I'll go over 500 hours. However, I have helped out my family run the gym for over 7 years (my mom's a gymnastic coach and dance instructor). Can I even list that? I'm guessing that the fact that I'm not the instructor and just an assistant (helping stretches, righting postures and handstands, bringing ice packs) doesn't help. Not to mention this is a family business, so it doesn't sound professional at all. Should I even mention this on a future application?
  18. I really want to apply this year and see if I get in. My GPA is very low with a cGPA of 3.19 and pGPA of 3.09. I have 500 hrs as a pharm tech, 200 hrs as a volunteer, 50 hrs as a CNA Seeing this, I know I would have to work on my HCE 2-3 years in order to get into PA school. My question is, even if I put in the commitment of working 2-3 years and accumulating HCE, will it be worth it??? Seems like the average GPAs to get into PA school are getting higher and the average HCE among applicants are getting lower.. I am also considering going into nursing first and working a few years to get experience, raise my GPA, and pay off my undergrad loans before applying to PA school. Please let me know what you all think.
  19. I've seen quite a few times that interviewers will question why you're choosing to become a PA rather than a Nurse Practitioner after working as a nurse full-time for several years. To me, I'll still be getting the hands on experience I need to be functional as a PA and will be more involved and in the know than I would if I worked as a CNA first, which seems to be a more accepted form of getting patient care experience for PA school. Do you think becoming a Nurse could affect my chances of being accepted to PA school? My argument would be that I prefer the more in depth diagnosis and treatment route paired with patient care of a PA, rather than the health education/awareness model of the DNP program. Thanks!
  20. Last cycle I applied to 6 schools, received one interview at Baylor, and wound up #8 on the waitlist...since it doesn't seem like I'll be moving up that list any further I will need to reapply. In evaluating my app, I think maybe my lack of HCE is my biggest deficit. Quick stats: GPA 3.89 Science 3.9 Post-bac 4.0 GRE 159Q 159V 4.0W Job - Shriners Burns Hospital research coordinator HCE - previously a scribe (if that counts?) and performed HIV testing and H. pylori testing in the ED, volunteer in two physical therapy departments Shadowing - 20hrs county clinic, will have 20hrs ENT and more hours with the PAs here at Shriners (20 or so?) within the next month REQs - Chief of burn surgery, Chief of research (my boss), MD I work closely with daily. (This time around I will swap out one of these for a PA) I am obviously lacking TRUE hands on healthcare experience. I signed up for a CNA course, but unfortunately the only option was April-May 2016, right when I need to reapply. I won't have time to work as a CNA before applying (nor do I plan on giving up a full time job for a part-time CNA job, which is all that is currently posted anywhere nearby)...so is it worth it? I thought maybe it would be good to get at least the clinical hours required for certification and the experience of it all. I would appreciate thoughts on whether this will boost my application at all, help me in the long run, or make any kind of difference at all? Thanks!
  21. Hi everyone, I am trying to decide when the best time to submit my CASPA application. I will have around 1100 hours working at a hospital as a CNA by late May. From my understanding, it is best to submit applications as early as possible for programs that admit under a rolling admissions basis. I am not exactly sure what is considered early submission, but I am planning on submitting all my CASPA materials by late May. Many of the programs that I will be applying to require a minimum of 1,000 hours. My question is, should I wait longer and work more before submitting my CASPA application at a later date? Would it be better if I submitted my application early with an HCE closer to the minimum or at a later date with a slightly greater amount? With working full-time after graduation, I believe I can accumulate up another ~150 hours until late June. Here's a little more about myself if it would help provide a more structured opinion. -Science GPA: 3.57 -cGPA: 3.64 -GRE: haven't taken it yet, but I've been taking practice tests and I've been getting scores in the mid-150's for Verbal and Quant. -HCE: ~1100 hours as a Nursing Care Assistant at a University Hospital (if submitted late May) -Volunteer Experience: 100 hrs at a local thrift store; 150 hrs at my university's hospital; 30 hours at a local CSA farm -Research Experience: 2 years experience doing research in plant biology (not sure if that helps at all) -Leadership Experience: Held 2 executive board positions in two frats I'm in -Other Extracurriculars: Tri-Beta National Honor Society, Alpha Chi Sigma, Biology Student Mentor (1 year), Student United Way Member (first 2 years of college), Red Cross Organization Member (first 2 years college) -Shadowing: ~40 hrs from various PA's -Letter of Recs- I know 1 professor (A&P) and 2 healthcare supervisors or 1 healthcare supervisor and 1 PA (depending on if I can get one). Thank you everyone for your time!
  22. Hi there, I was wondering - for the past year and half I've been working with a company in residential homes and have gained ~ 800hrs of patient care in terms of med admin through g/j tubes, suctioning and changing inner cannulas, personal cares, hoyering, accucheck/insulin shots of adolescents with congenital encephalopathies and also bariatric and geriatric clients. I also work on-call and register folks in the ED at the hospital ~ 100hrs so far. In between though I had a 2 month (60 hrs) stint working with an autistic adults, which I found was not a right fit for me. Now I've gotten an offer from a clinical job working as a lab tech (doing venipuncture, setting up and reporting EKGs, specimen collection, etc) that will replace my residential job. I'll have about ~350 hours by the time I submit my applications this September. I'm excited about the lab tech opportunity because it will give me some solid clinical experience and direct patient care exp., but I'm afraid this job switching will look bad for my resume - should I stay at my current company? I'm also a Part-Time student, volunteer, and do research. Would love some feedback/advice!
  23. Hi everyone!! I was looking for some advice on what I should do before I apply to PA school next year. I am graduating this year with a bachelors in biological sciences and have done the basic prereqs for the schools I plan to apply to. Here is my background: Undergraduate degree: Biological Sciences Science GPA ~ 3.56 Overall GPA ~3.66 GRE ~ I have not taken it yet, but I plan to this summer HCE ~ 300 hours as a hospital volunteer so far The PA schools that I plan to apply to require at least 2 courses in chemistry. Since I was a biology major, I was not required to take many chemistry classes, so I have only taken 2 courses for general chemistry and a course in organic chemistry. I technically meet the requirements, but I am worried that I do not look very competitive. I have taken other medical related courses such as immunology and various neuroscience classes as I specifically want to work in the neurology department. As for HCE, I plan to work as a medical lab technician after I graduate while still volunteering at the hospital. I am also about to shadow a PA and will try to shadow more before next year. Going back to my question, I was originally thinking of taking biochemistry at a community college in the summer after graduating. The issue is that it may not transfer as a biochemistry credit and instead as a biochemistry elective. I could take it at a university, but it will definitely be more expensive and I am not sure that I can afford it right after graduation. Do you think I should take the biochemistry course at a community college or should I just concentrate on my HCE instead? If I take the class, it will delay me from working as a med tech for a couple of months. If I work as a med tech directly after graduating, though, I will likely have 2000+ HCE hours by the time I apply to the schools next year. The schools I was looking at only require 500 hours, so I will be well over that, but do you think having more HCE will cover for not taking other chemistry classes? Thank you in advance!!
  24. Back in the 70's and 80's the average age of a PA student was > 35 yrs. Many post military. Today its <27. With many Americans looking to retool their careers after the 2008 meltdown, does anyone have a good idea of PA schools that actively recruit older PA students like 45 or even 50. I know many career focused clinical technologists with 15-20 years HCE (e.g. OR techs, Pathology techs, Clinical Lab techs) that want to train up to PA careers. Where are the best programs to apply to?
  25. Hello all, I am a Pre-Pa student trying to decide on how to fulfill my HCE requirements. I'm super nervous about applying in April and I do not have much with regards to HCE. I volunteer at a local nursing home and help take care of someone who is home bound (sort of as an unofficial home health aid). I was originally hoping to get into medical school but after shadowing a couple of Pa's I decided that being a PA would be a better fit for me. Would this type of HCE suffice? What are some of your HCE's and what are your roles in them? And most of the schools I hope to apply to do not require HCE. Thank you guys!
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