I am looking for realistic advice on becoming a surgical PA First Assist. I viewed similar topics within this forum but wanted a more personalized response. This will probably be a long post 😅.
Here is a little about my background; I’m a 27yr old currently holding only my GED with a certification as a NA. I’ve worked as a CNA for 3years with 2.5 years working on a post surgical unit at my current hospital. I am transferring to sterile processing next month where I plan to work as I attend a CST program.
I thought this would be a good field to work in since I will be working directly with the surgical instruments and preparing the kits and trays for each surgery throughout the day. I also plan to obtain my CRST ( certified registered sterile technician) by taking the exam after some more experience on my new job. I originally wanted to go to school to be an OR Nurse or go for my CRNA but after being allowed to observe a few surgeries at work realized I’d rather be more hands on during procedures. My end goal then became wanting to be a first assist. After speaking with a coworker currently waiting for admission to PA school about it, they suggested becoming a surgical PA. I’m already starting out so late in life... Is it a waste of time to go through the certification of becoming a Surgical Tech? Is it feasible to start a journey to PA so late? I want to be sure that surgery is for me and more than just an interest so figured being a Surgical Tech would help with my decision...I’ve already taken so many detours on the road to furthering my education. I don’t want to delay any further.
I have also looked into the RNFA route but prefer the flexibility when it comes to specialties being a PA.
All feedback is welcome. Sorry for the long post, and Thanks in advance!
I am taking a gap year following my undergraduate at the University of Idaho, and applying this cycle in May of 2019. I am terrified of being denied entry, I feel that there isn't much that stands out in my application. I am doing an impressive internship this summer, but will be applying before it begins. I hope to matriculate into a surgical career, but am keeping my options open at this point. Please give me your 100% candid feedback. I'm an Idaho resident, from a medically underserved area btw.
Paid PCE: ~800 hours as a surgical floor CNA
Unpaid PCE: 221.25 hours ED volunteer
Scribe Hours: 45 hours Free clinic
PA shadowing: 80 hours (FP, Surgical Speciality)
MD shadowing: 15 hours (FP, Orthopedic Surgeon)
Volunteer hours: ~300 Muscular Dystrophy Association, Environmental, Greek
Definitely applying to: Northern Arizona, Samuel Merritt University, Western University of Health Sciences, Idaho State University, Cornell University, PACE University (Lenox Hill)
Maybe applying to: Carroll University, Salus University, Sullivan University, Albany Medical College, Touro University
Does anyone here know what the preferred housing options are for the students in the PA program? Is it more convenient/affordable for the students to live in the dorms on campus or do most of the students commute from elsewhere in Manhattan/another boro for the entirety of the program? Thanks in advance!
Although I’m not a PA yet, I hope posting in this forum is fine, as I’m seeking info on existing surgical PA’s.
So, what’s your specialty?
I’m very interested in surgery, but I also would like to have a decent lifestyle outside of work. I’d also prefer to do more lower-risk surgeries versus something like trauma patients.
The only PA I know personally specializes in urology. She works a normal schedule, is married, and has a child. I love the aspect of surgery, the idea of savings lives, and even working weekends when they need me - I hope I don’t give off the vibe that I don’t want to work.
Any PA’s out there in surgery that care to comment on your work-life balance? Any insight is very appreciated!