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Call Pay for Surgical PA


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I am a new grad working with a neurosurgery practice within a large hospital group.  Starting in the next few months, I will be taking call.  The practice is in the process of deciding how compensation will be structured for this call.  In discussions with other PAs at the hospital, I've learned that they get paid a lump sum just for holding the pager, and an additional "call back" amount for every 2 hours actually spent in the OR (you work for 30 minutes, get paid for 2 hours; work 2.5 hours, get paid for 4, etc).  I also work with clinical NPs and will be sharing hospital call with them.  There may be a separate compensation for that type of call since it will require more "phone time" and less in-person time. I am the first PA in this practice, so I have the unique opportunity to have some say in how my compensation will be structured.  

 

I was wondering how other surgical or hospital-based PAs are compensated for their call time?  Does your practice differentiate between OR call and floor call?  If people don't mind sharing, what actual amounts are being offered? (I understand this can differ between markets and specialties, but it would be nice to have an idea of what is standard)

 

Thank you for any input!

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 I've learned that they get paid a lump sum just for holding the pager, and an additional "call back" amount for every 2 hours actually spent in the OR (you work for 30 minutes, get paid for 2 hours; work 2.5 hours, get paid for 4, etc).

 

This strikes me as the fairest way to do it (whether or not the specifics of the numbers are quite right for your area, etc).

 

Being on call means you can't make plans to leave town, you have to remain somewhere the cell coverage is good enough you can receive the page and call back promptly. It means you can't drink if you're at a neighborhood BBQ. It means you either can't take your kids out someplace, or you need to be able to leave them with your partner if you need to take off for the hospital. So simply being the Keeper of the Pager should be compensated.

 

I also like how they differentiate being on call from actually having to come in and work. This tends to suggest that they respect your time and skills, and knowing how expensive it is to actually call you, maybe they don't abuse the opportunity. Differentiating between floor-call and OR call makes sense, assuming at least some of the post-op stuff is simple questions about clarifying orders or what needs to be done about Patient x, and isn't something you need to come in and physically examine. Maybe there could be a middle tier where it's more than just a phone consult, and still not OR time?

 

To answer your question, I've seen structures like this, back when I was in school. Consequently, I've been shocked to see that a lot of places still get away with "oh, everybody does call, so you don't get anything special for it." Especially with PAs, surgery can be a little bit evil in failing to compensate for the stuff that comes up in the course of a surgical patient's stay.

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a few points to bring up

 

docs are protesting against being forced to take call at hospitals and demending payment for it

it is a quality of life issue, and wee should NEVER give away call coverage

two parts of compensation

     1-carrying the pager and answering calls

     2-actually coming in

 

 

I would suggest $1000 for carrying the pager and as posted above - extra $$ for coming in

 

Remember - you are making the doc's life better by doing this and if you do a case the Doc and the hospital is making money - and you should too

 

 

for a subspec like neurosurg - make em pay.....

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