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 wish at 18, I would've chosen the pre-pa route and gotten an associate's degree in DMS or an echo cardiogram tech then continued to get certified in different specialties. I may have taken pre med courses as well. Became a CNA and worked in many different specialties, hospitals, hospice, nursing and rehab facilities for experience, money, connections, letters of recommendation, on the job training to get certified in imaging, phlebotomy, resp tech, occupational or physical therapy technicians, basic EMT 1-IV, ER tech, pharmacy tech, and become a American Red Cross CNA trainer or at least CPR, AED, BLS, first aid and phlebotomy instructor's. Setting up blood drives, charity events etc. Too many ideas to count. I know now that being a healthcare professional is my calling. Some ppl can just play the piano, which I can't, but medicine/biology/anatomy, makes perfect sense. But, I'm 40 now, and my Psychology degree I got in 2001 afforded me sales positions from food broker territory manager, pharmaceutical sales, animal diagnostic laboratory sales manager. I worked from home and travelled all over. I liked being my own boss, and other's as well. I then became a seller and writer of mortgages. Now, I have been on disability for 10yrs and am ready to do what I was meant to. I just wish I was younger. That's why it's important for me to manage my time and not waste a minute doing something that isn't going to help me get in a program.
On the licenses and certifications section, CASPA acts for the issuing organization. I am not sure what would be the issuing organization for my CNA certification - would it be the school I attended for my certification or my state's department of health professions which lists online my license number...?
I am currently an undergrad about to graduate in May with a bachelor of science in Neuroscience. I'm hoping to get some advice/insight on my application and stats.
Last 60 hrs: 3.7
ER scribe: 2000+ (I understand not all school accepts this as PCE but the schools I will be applying to does)
MA?: 700 hrs. (I worked at a Chiropractor office about 2 years ago. I didn't have a job title but my duties included triage, assisting physician in minor procedures, and acting as a medical translator between the patient and the physician)
Would this still count?
Medical Assistance: About to begin this job in May at a local urgent care near my house. Will be train on the spot and hopefully get certified in a few months.
Children Hospital: 60+ hours
Volunteer at local hospital in high school: 50 hours (Don't know if this would still count)
30+ hours ER PA (2 separate PA)
10 hours cardiology PA
pending shadowing with ICU PA
GRE: taking in May
So, I understand both of my GPA is on the lower side. I did dual enrollment as a high school student and my transfer GPA after starting college was 3.8. Sadly, something very unfortunate happened in my life a week before my first semester and it became really tough balancing school, my life, and my mother's medical issue. I was also a Biology major and very confused about what I wanted to do in my life during this time. Took a bunch of classes I never needed (wasted money) and made B's on most of them and 1 C. Then, the following year my mother's health worsened and stupidly during this time I decided to take O-chem while all of this was happening. I ended up failing my first class ever with a D. It took a while for me to bounce back but I eventually did and passed O-chem the second time I retook it. Since then, I've changed my major to Neuroscience (LOVE IT) and have made A's in most of my classes and 2-3 B's in others.
Is there anyway to improve my application? I am planning to apply this cycle regardless just to get familiar with the process and hopefully I get an offer or two. However, I am prepare to accept the fact that I may not get in this year so that means I might have a "gap" year to improve myself. I would appreciate any advice/insight! Thank you for taking your time to read this!
I really really want to be a physician assistant, but I don't have the most outstanding test scores or grades. I was wondering if you all could give me your opinion on if I have any chance at all of getting into a PA program. My overall GPA was a 3.30 and my science GPA was a 3.27. I took the GRE and got a 155 on verbal, but only a 145 on the quantitative section, and a 4.0 on the writing section. I will have 1,720 hours of healthcare experience working as a CNA by the time I am planning to apply to physician assistant programs. I also have 24 hours of shadowing PAs as experience. Please let me know if you think I have any chance of being accepted into a PA program. Also, if any of you have any recommendations on PA programs that would be best for me to apply to based on my stats I would greatly appreciate that!
Thanks in advance for any and all responses!