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  1. Hi all, A little backstory...I'm an RD and I'm currently obtaining my MHS in Human Nutrition. I'm working in the neonatal ICU right now and I'm planning to stay there while I complete my pre-reqs over the next couple of years. I've been set on applying to PA school after I complete my pre-reqs and eventually getting into a neonatal ICU or maybe even a PICU or general inpatient peds unit. However, so many others have told me that it's next to impossible to do NICU as a PA. I know there are some units that have PAs in NICUS (CHOP has a job open now for a NICU PA and there is a post-grad residency in KY). I've been told multiple times, however, that I should instead go to nursing school and eventually get my NP. The issue is, and this is no disrespect whatsoever to nurses, but the issue is that I feel it's a step backwards. I'll already have a master's degree and good experience under my belt as an RD and it feels like I'd be going backwards to lose the semi-autonomy that I have now and get a BSN. Whereas with a MPAS (or whatever master's degree the school I hopefully would be accepted to would offer) I would still retain that semi-autonomy and be moving laterally (IMO). So, what do you all think? If my mind is made up that I definitely want to do Peds/NICU, would you go for NP (eventually...you have to have 2 yrs experience before going back for NNP) or PA? Thanks in advance!
  2. During my four year commitment with the Howard Payne men’s tennis team, I had the opportunity to hone my communication skills, work with people from diverse backgrounds, and become a better teammate. The tennis team demanded a lot of time and dedication, but ultimately the results were rewarding. We trained ourselves by spending hours in the gym, performed countless drills on the courts, watched several films of match play, and devised winning strategies. We understood the value of hard work, but more importantly learned that success could only be accomplished by working as a cohesive team. While searching for a career, I wanted something that would allow me to work in a team environment, to solve problems, and to utilize my personal interest for medicine to assist people in need of healthcare. Becoming a physician assistant (PA) would fulfill these roles and also provide me with the opportunity to further develop my naturally compassionate nature to better care for my patients. To gain a better insight on the PA profession, I shadowed Dr. Michael Champine and his colleague, Mr. Darren Hughes, PA. While observing, I had the privilege to witness several minimally invasive knee replacement surgeries. The operating room was comprised of Dr. Champine and Mr. Hughes alongside registered nurses (RN) and an anesthesiologist. I closely observed the procedure, but primarily focused on Mr. Hughes. His chief task included preparing the knee, assisting in the removal of damaged bones, replacing the knee with prosthesis, and stitching the surgical incision. His responsibilities demonstrated the significance of the PA position in the medical field. This made me realize how much autonomy he possessed while performing surgery, which sparked my initial interest in the flexibility in the PA profession. I also had the opportunity to observe Mr. Hughes interact with his patients; it was evident that he genuinely enjoyed spending time with them and making them feel more at ease. Outside of the clinical setting he showed me the non-medical aspects of being a PA, which broadened my understanding on the life of a PA. It was a privilege to have had the chance to observe the medical professionals at Texas Orthopedic Associates, and allowed me to experience a variety of healthcare professionals, their responsibilities, and their teamwork during surgeries. I plan to emulate their strong unity and high-level of professionalism during my own practice as a PA. While working as a research assistant for Dr. Ishan Adhikari at The Heart Beat Clinic (THBC), it exposed me to the complexities of medicine and allowed me to interact with patients on a more personal level . The position challenged me to comprehend the different varieties of autonomic disorders with a special emphasis on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Eventually, I was able to understand the symptomatology and etiology of POTS, and became proficient in testing for its symptoms through the utilization of autonomic functions tests. My experience with POTS exposed me to the detrimental effects of the syndrome, and allowed me to acquire deep empathy for patients while listening to stories of their everyday struggles with the disorder. Patients with POTS are unable to stand for a long period of time due to the lack of vasoconstrictions in their legs. The long period of standing may cause lightheadedness, fatigue or syncope. One patient confided in me about her struggles living with POTS. She described feeling fatigued each morning and the repercussions of the early lassitude throughout the day. It was difficult for her to do simple, daily activities she loved, such as swimming and traveling with friends. The severity of the symptoms had even caused her to resign her career as a nurse. However, she continues to be optimistic and strives to become healthy again. Her courage and drive constantly remind me of the crucial importance health professionals play within the medical field. Currently, she is undergoing the External Counterpulsation (ECP) treatment. Twice a week, my task is to check her vitals, attach her to the ECP machine, and monitor her treatment. The purpose of the ECP is to improve the circulation of her heart through the inflation and deflation of pneumatic cuffs on each leg; this particular procedure provides her body with more energy. It has been a fulfilling experience to care for her needs during treatment while learning about her life. Her vitality and optimism grows with each treatment, and it has encouraged me to see that a part of my work is impacting her life, giving me more reasons to pursue a career as a PA. My experience from observing Mr. Hughes allowed me to witness the esteemed teamwork between MD’s, PA’s and RN’s. Through understanding the responsibility of a PA in the medical setting and outside of medicine, it has cemented my desires to become a PA, as I believe it would best fit my personality. In a tennis team, there are some that may be more skilled than others, but each role has the same purpose, which is to achieve the overall goal of the team. Just like in healthcare, there is MD, PA, and RN, with each position having different responsibilities, and it requires good teamwork to satisfy the needs of the patient. It has been a pleasure to have had the chance to work with a group of professionals that help people each day, and my goal is to one day join them as a PA. With my experience and motivation, I believe I am a qualified candidate for the PA program, and look forward at the opportunity to further my education and use my knowledge to become a valued teammate in the medical world.
  3. I am a washington resident and am going to attend a 2 year community college (green river). Im going to take the required pre-requisites courses for the MEDEX program, so here is my plan. After my 2 years of community college i will have an Associates degree. Then transfer to UW to get my Bachelor's but after my 2 years i will also be working as a Nurse to get my 4000 hours of experience completed. Hopefully i will have at least a 3.7 gpa throughout my college courses. Also currently i took some UW in the highschool classes which i paid 300 and something dollars for. The classes i took were ENGL 111, with gpa of 3.7 ENGl131 with gpa of 3.5, MATH 120 with gpa of 3.0 znd HSTAA 235 with 3.4 gpa. I didnt realize these courses were going to affect my college gpa i thought that it would be the same as an AP test, where if you pass you get the credit but apparently it gets calculated with your acumlative GPA. I also took and passed AP gov and AP composition tests which i got a 4 and a 3 on. Does this seem like i a good future plan? Or am i missing something? Any help is welcomed!
  4. I hate to sound redundant, as I know this question has been asked in various ways. However... Need your thoughts on a few things. 1. When should I bite the bullet and submit? - I am finishing Genetics this summer and have one more Chem class in the fall. Do I wait until I have the final grade from Summer classes? Currently, I have Genetics and Chem2 as 'pending' per CASPA. I am torn, I feel like it should be as complete as possible, but waiting to submit until August (first week) is equally nerve wracking. - also waiting in CPR cert, and would like to add in a few more shadowing hrs even though I have plenty of HCEs ** Any thoughts??? 2. LOR- I don't know why this is such a process for me. I have two thus far ( one professor and a DC who was a former employer). My last job I was a patient advocate/educator. My initial thought is to ask someone there. However, our supervisors were not clinicians ... More along the line sof MPH/MBAs etc. I have read that you "should" have a PA write an LOR. I have done shadowing in addition to HCE hours, but it seems less meaningful to have someone I shadowed for 25 hrs write an LOR than someone I worked for for 5 years. Am I putting too much thought into this? Ps- my earliest deadline is Oct 1... Technically Aug 9-ish should be ok if it's a one month turn around. But crazier things have happened! Any advice is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
  5. Hello PA Students, The AAPA and the Student Academy of the AAPA (SAAAPA) are working together to develop a new website for PA students. We would love your input into the kinds of features and content you would find most useful as a PA student. What would you want YOUR website to look like? Feel free to post ideas, comments and suggestions here or you can email me at saaapasrc@gmail.com Thanks for your time and consideration. Your input is really valuable. Sincerely, Harrison Reed, PA-S II Director of Communications, 2012-2013 Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
  6. I am the VP of my class so naturally I am going to the AAPA conference this year in Toronto. Does anyone have suggestions on which days are the best for us to go to. I know the website had a list of student related dates, but we will not be participating in the bowl challenge and I'm trying to budget out the trip for the other classmates of mine that are going. The fewer days we go the cheaper, but I also don't wanna miss anything, so I just wanted to see if anyone had any recommendations, I have never been to an AAPA conference. Thanks
  7. I am in desperate need of clinical rotation sites in the seattle area. If anyone knows of any physicians or PAs willing to take a student for a 6 week rotation, please let me know. I am from Nova Southeastern University in FL and trying to finish my electives here in WA state. I can send my resume and any other information needed. Thanks, Hope
  8. Hey everyone, I wanted to tell you all about a new opportunity to publish your writing as a student. I am helping to run a new student section at PA professional magazine. Some details below: Wanted: PA Student Writers Beginning in spring 2012, PA Professional will launch a student section featuring news written for and by PA students. If you know students who would be interested in writing for this new and exciting magazine section, please have them email their story idea—in 100 words or fewer—to Janette Rodrigues, AAPA managing editor of publications. Contact her at news@aapa.org or 571-319-4382. We will be looking for various article types, including: Commentary/Perspective: Students take a stand on an issue or express their viewpoint on a topic in PA practice, education or policy. Words from the Wards: Students share a unique medical experience -- from their first or second year of PA school -- in a first-person essay. Passing Notes: Students give advice to other students on how to cope with the first year of PA school, rotations or entering the workforce. Articles should be around 600 words or less. We will also accept photos from student photographers depicting student activities and advocacy. Deadline for the first issue (March) is Jan. 31st send send ideas or articles ASAP. If you have any questions you can email me at studenteditor@aapa.org. Thanks! Sincerely, Harrison Reed PA Professional Student Editor
  9. Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I am recording my whole process of getting accepted to PA school, and my experiences throughout school. From getting patient care experience, pre-reqs, to recently getting accepted into PA school I will put it all down. I am trying to include any tips and tricks that I feel worked for me so that others can benefit from them. I will answer any questions and give my advice to those who are still working on getting into PA school. (Any little advice helps along the way). http://djthepa.blogspot.com/ I am planning on recording through PA school, so those who will get accepted can have info on what its like to start the program, and what to expect. Please feel free to leave feedback and comments! THANK YOU, and good luck!! -DJ
  10. Hello Everyone, all my CASPA information have been sent to my schools, except I am taking my gre in a week. Do you think PA programs won't offer you an interview until they receive your scores? Because now that there is a new gre, the scores are taking a while to reach the schools. Anyone else worried about that? Also, I just finished a summer Statistics Course and got an A. Should I send all the schools an offical copy of my transcripts so they can see that grade, or email them an unofficial copy, or wait until my fall courses are over since I will have to send my grades again anyway?? Thanks in advance for any adivce
  11. Hey all, I'm looking to shadow a PA somewhere in Norther California. I've worked with PA's before in the military, but would like to see how they operate in the civilian sector. So far, my "cold calls" are turning up empty. Not sure if places are afraid of the liability? I'm located in the Sacramento Area and am willing to commute if need be. Thank you! Chris
  12. Hello, I just needed to see if anyone knew of a lender willing to lend for a mortgage for students without any income. I have a wife who will be a stay at home mother for our child. I know they have programs for medical students for this but I am trying to find one for PA students. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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