Jump to content

PA Student Interested in EM

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, I am currently a PA Student in my didactic year highly interested in working in EM when I graduate. I work per diem at the hospital near me as a CNA/ER Tech where I pick up shifts on my breaks to get some extra money. I have been scheduling my shifts in the ED to gain more experience-- a lot of times the PAs there will let me observe them suturing or casting which I really enjoy. Is there anything in particular I should try to start learning/observing more in depth in preparation for working as a EM PA one day? I understand I will be learning a ton during my EM clinical rotation... just thinking maybe I could get a headstart since I am already down there. Also, any other tips would be great as I know it is a difficult field to work in especially for new graduates. I appreciate it, thank you :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quick tips that have helped me out so far:


1. Join SEMPA, it's dirt-cheap as a student

2. Take PALS, ATLS as soon as you can. See if you can take the PALS from a Peds intensivist, my class was amazing, she had videos of neuro findings, etc.

3. Ask your clinical coordinator to substitute your rotations for most relevant like the forum sticky says (ie trauma or emergency surgery for general). If not, ask for rotations with the sickest patients and more rural locations. For example I'm in a clinic right for my required family medicine, we manage things on an outpatient basis most doc's wouldn't touch, ie pts circiling towards Hospice for their CHF, COPD, renal disease. In fact if you can get a family doc that does some Hospice you'll find it really relevant, great pain and symptom management tricks.

4. Go to Itunes and get podcasts/iTunes U like EMCrit, SmartEM, UCI EM rounds, etc

5. On your clinical rotations, come early stay late. Make friends with your nurses, RTs, anesthesiologists, ask to help with things, if things are slow ask questions (particularly anesthesia about pressors/sedation/tips etc), ask if you can do procedures like spinals, intubate surgery pts, etc. Try to get rotations outside of a major teaching hospital (you'll be the only student). I got to catch babies, practice RSI/conscious sedation, first-assist, admit and write tons of orders with just a nod and a co-sign, do central lines, A-lines, LPs, etc vs trying to peer over the shoulders of the med students and residents. Though resident conferences at the teaching hospitals are pretty great too.

6. Do an ICU elective. Seriously amazing stuff, the sickest folks from downstairs, now they're you're problem. It's really hushed and quiet up there...until it's not.


Good luck! Hope this helps! I loved my clinical year, it's nice to be out there doing instead of sitting in class all day


Now for the scary part...:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More