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employment and PA school


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I tried to browse the forums prior to posting, so  apologies if I've missed a previous thread that discusses this topic.

 

Most every program website that I have read has stated that employment during the program is strongly discouraged and some even state that it is prohibited. I know that the education is a priority, and the demands of the program are extremely high, but I was just curious if anyone has ever tried (and succeeded) in maintaining some form of employment during PA school? Even if it was just part time, like something you'd have in undergrad. Or has anyone tried to work over breaks? More of a theoretical situation, but just curious. Many interested in this profession say they will do whatever they need to do to get there, and I know the financial aspect of things is sometimes quite a big hurdle in and of itself.

 

 

 

 

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Pre-PA here, still working on my undergrad. I'm currently going to school full time (12 credits) and working full time (40 hours a week). I don't plan on working at all in PA school. Balancing the two now is hard enough for me (though many others manage to do even more than me), and I feel like I'd really want to dedicate myself completely to learning when I get there. PA school will be my job, that's how I look at it.

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I kept my PRN job as a nursing assistant and I worked a total of 3 shifts last semester. There were several people in my class that continued to work part time. Most of them really struggled. I'd rather take extra loans out than gamble with my future...

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I am starting this summer, but my current employer said I could stay on as PRN and work over breaks if I want. I will definitely put PA school first, but it is nice for me to have the option to make some extra money if I need it. I don't plan on working at all during term.

The biggest benefit for me was having access to patient's medical records and making sense of what I've learned in school at an actual clinical level. I can look at the H&P, labs, imaging, tests, progress notes, etc... and get an idea of what's going on with the patient. I've always done this with my patients during downtime, but I didn't understand what half of the stuff meant, only the stuff that I needed to know for my job. With that being said, I still stay within my scope of practice, but I think a little bit differently now. Hopefully this will carry over for when I begin clinical rotations so I won't be a lost puppy when I start examining real patients with real problems. Last but not least, I also feel like I learn something new every time I work, which will ultimately help me become a better PA.

 

The extra $ is nice, but it's definitely not enough to make a big difference vs. just taking out loans for the said amount of money.

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there are a bunch of part time programs out there (7-8 or so) that allow you to work the first and 2nd yr and the 3rd yr is full time. I did one of these (Drexel) and worked 24-30 hrs/week 1st 2 years then just concert standbys as a medic yr 3.

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there are a bunch of part time programs out there (7-8 or so) that allow you to work the first and 2nd yr and the 3rd yr is full time. I did one of these (Drexel) and worked 24-30 hrs/week 1st 2 years then just concert standbys as a medic yr 3.

Besides the set up of the program, this was something else that appealed to me about Drexel. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to be in school the extra time for the part time option. Even though if I get to the end goal, it doesn't matter either way I suppose. Having undergrad debt is quite the motivation to limit my grad school debt, all bearing in mind that the education I'm paying for is the most important part.

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Besides the set up of the program, this was something else that appealed to me about Drexel. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to be in school the extra time for the part time option. Even though if I get to the end goal, it doesn't matter either way I suppose. Having undergrad debt is quite the motivation to limit my grad school debt, all bearing in mind that the education I'm paying for is the most important part.

it's also nice being able to actually do all the readings. I think I honestly learned the material better taking 3 classes at a time instead of 6.

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I am 7 months into my program and was able to keep a PRN position at my previous job. My program started June 1st and over the summer I was able to manage 6 hours a week. I probably could have worked more, but having some down time and spending time with my boyfriend and 2 dogs was more important to me than working more. I do go back and work over the breaks. This past fall semester I wasn't able to work due to the increase in intensity of the program compared to summer (summer= 4 classes, 11 credits, Fall= 11 classes, 23 credits). The second year buddy I was paired up with does work during the semesters, but she admits to only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night while I am a person who needs at least 7 hours. I think it is also program dependent as well.

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It depends greatly on the person. I did undergrad in 7 consecutive semesters 16-21 credits during the year, and 14 & 17 in the two summers while working full time job A (56 hrs), full time job B (36 hrs), and part time jobs C & D (20ish hours combined). I intend to work most weekends, and occasional nights during the didactic year, but I'm fully prepared to take on more debt vs risking slipping grades.

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I did two Friday night shifts per month as a medic just to keep my skills in. Also showed some of my crew some physical exam techniques. I had the school's permission as long as it didn't interfere with my studies.

 

I'm sure there are people out there who worked more. My advice is "eyes on the prize." It took a lot to get you into a PA program and it will take a lot to get you out successfully. Watch making outside commitments. Tread lightly here, my friends.

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I'm not really sure how you could make enough money during a break to be worth giving up the chance to actually have some downtime/fun. Always important to remember that life is for living.

Very true. In our first year, we have a total of 6 weeks of break. I'm used to a M-F 9-5 where I might get 3 weeks vacation if I'm lucky. I will be on a very tight budget during school, so maybe if I spend most of breaks working I can afford to splurge and take a vacation for the rest :)

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