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Hi everyone I need some advice. I am inquiring what others have done after they have obtained their HCE. I have been working as a RCA (Resident Care Associate/CNA) at an assisted living/memory care facility for almost a year (7 months) now and was wondering what others have done afterwards.

 

I still need to take some prerequisites and take the GRE before I can even apply to PA school. I recently began to put ‘feelers’ out there (network), but so far no one has any ideas of what I should do next. I asked the NP (who works PRN at the same facility I do) and her response was “… go to nursing school.”

 

I am considering taking a phlebotomy course or become a EMT to make myself more marketable, but I have found the job market in my surrounding community pretty slim (as it seems flooded with applicants). What can I else do, can anyone make any suggestions?

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Hi everyone I need some advice. I am inquiring what others have done after they have obtained their HCE. I have been working as a RCA (Resident Care Associate/CNA) at an assisted living/memory care facility for almost a year (7 months) now and was wondering what others have done afterwards.

 

I still need to take some prerequisites and take the GRE before I can even apply to PA school. I recently began to put ‘feelers’ out there (network), but so far no one has any ideas of what I should do next. I asked the NP (who works PRN at the same facility I do) and her response was “… go to nursing school.”

 

I am considering taking a phlebotomy course or become a EMT to make myself more marketable, but I have found the job market in my surrounding community pretty slim (as it seems flooded with applicants). What can I else do, can anyone make any suggestions?

I had a similar route. Although, I too am a pre-pa student applying this cycle.

I worked as a resident assistant at an assisted living facility for almost 5 years and got my phlebotomy license and have been working as lab tech for almost 6 years.

 

Do you have a bachelor degree?

 

Also as far as the nursing school route that is a great option-IF you wanted to be a nurse-

How many pre-reqs do you need?

 

you don't want to regret your career choice down the road. Don't give up!

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

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7 months is about 26 weeks of work which amounts to just over 1000 hours of HCE if you are working 40 hours per week. There is no problem with making yourself more competitive as an applicant by gaining more hours. In fact, 1000 hours is a minimum at some schools. 

 

 

I think the better question is what are you interested in seeing and learning medically. If you get an EMT certification and work in an ED or on the road you will be exposed to different things then if you become a patient care tech on a hospital floor. You have great prior experience that will make you super hireable! Do not be discouraged about applying to a job because there is a lot of other applicants. I got my current job as an ED tech through networking. And do not go to nursing school just because you are not sure what to do next. If you want to go to PA school then you should put all your effort into taking pre-reqs and studying for the GRE. Best of luck to you!

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On 5/27/2017 at 3:30 PM, valdivia.ashley said:

I had a similar route. Although, I too am a pre-pa student applying this cycle.

I worked as a resident assistant at an assisted living facility for almost 5 years and got my phlebotomy license and have been working as lab tech for almost 6 years.

Do you have a bachelor degree?

Sorry, for the delay. They (A/L, MC) keep messing with my schedule.   Yes, I do have a BS degree - a BS in psych.

Also as far as the nursing school route that is a great option-IF you wanted to be a nurse-

How many pre-reqs do you need?

I need to bring up my GPA up so I can myself more competitive so I still need to take more classes

you don't want to regret your career choice down the road. Don't give up!

If you knew me, you would know my strongest trait is persistence :)

 

 

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On 5/28/2017 at 10:44 AM, panglossian said:

7 months is about 26 weeks of work which amounts to just over 1000 hours of HCE if you are working 40 hours per week. There is no problem with making yourself more competitive as an applicant by gaining more hours. In fact, 1000 hours is a minimum at some schools. 

I realize that, that is why I am planning to stay for a year. I hope to transition into some other HCE hence the question I asked. ;-)

I think the better question is what are you interested in seeing and learning medically. If you get an EMT certification and work in an ED or on the road you will be exposed to different things then if you become a patient care tech on a hospital floor. You have great prior experience that will make you super hireable! Do not be discouraged about applying to a job because there is a lot of other applicants. I got my current job as an ED tech through networking. And do not go to nursing school just because you are not sure what to do next. If you want to go to PA school then you should put all your effort into taking pre-reqs and studying for the GRE. Best of luck to you!

You mention networking, I am the networking queen! :) I have tried for quite some time to get this job. I was networking asking people I know and even strangers if they know someone (they say never ask the person directly) about a job. It took me 6 MONTHS to get this job where I am at as a Resident Care Associate/CNA. Hospitals were saying I was UNDER-QUALIFIED because I didn't have any PRIOR HCE. When I was going to other AL (Assisted Living) facilities and/or MC (Memory Care) (prior to the one I am currently working at) they thought I was OVER-QUALIFIED (because they saw that I had a  degree). Finally as I mentioned above someone took a chance on me. :/  My goal is to get into PA school ... It just has been a long and tedious road

 

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What do you feel would make you a better provider in the future that you can work on today? I am a Pre-PA as well, but I am currently working at a behavioral support center for children on the spectrum. It is helping me engage and relate with parents of children who usually need a lot of help. It also exposes me to different professions that you may work with or refer out to in the future: OT, PT, speech therapy, neurology, etc. I have my EMT-B cert, but I wasn't exactly sure if that is the route I wanted to go once I was a PA, and I knew I could handle emergency situations with clarity. Of course, I would have been exposed to plenty of experiences that would increase my skill set, but I guess we all have our choices. I ended up getting an interview for a local PA school, but I have no idea if I was accepted or not yet. I liked to think I am somewhat competitive since I landed that and can speak with a little bit of authority. 

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24 minutes ago, Wellness said:

What do you feel would make you a better provider in the future that you can work on today? I am a Pre-PA as well, but I am currently working at a behavioral support center for children on the spectrum. It is helping me engage and relate with parents of children who usually need a lot of help. It also exposes me to different professions that you may work with or refer out to in the future: OT, PT, speech therapy, neurology, etc. I have my EMT-B cert, but I wasn't exactly sure if that is the route I wanted to go once I was a PA, and I knew I could handle emergency situations with clarity. Of course, I would have been exposed to plenty of experiences that would increase my skill set, but I guess we all have our choices. I ended up getting an interview for a local PA school, but I have no idea if I was accepted or not yet. I liked to think I am somewhat competitive since I landed that and can speak with a little bit of authority. 

May I ask where you are? I would like to work with behavioral health professions hence my BS psychology degree. ;-) I hope I don't come across being too forward (just networking ;-)  ).  What prior experience did you have before this? Can you suggest any places where I could look for something like what you are doing? TIA 

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The ideal approach is going to vary by adcoms, but I think your best bet is to invest energy beefing up your academic resume/GPA. If you can score really high on the GRE it might help as well. I know there are a lot of veteran members/moderators here on the forum who think clinical experience is the most important qualification for future PAs, but I don't think they're on the same page as the bulk of the programs out there.

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6 hours ago, whoRyou said:

May I ask where you are? I would like to work with behavioral health professions hence my BS psychology degree. ;-) I hope I don't come across being too forward (just networking ;-)  ).  What prior experience did you have before this? Can you suggest any places where I could look for something like what you are doing? TIA 

I am in Virginia! I received a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition/Dietetics, but I was hired because of my previous experience with my brother who has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and ASD. 

I don't have any suggestions for where you can find a job like mine, unless you live in Virginia. My official title is Behavioral Support Clinician, and I am supervised by a License Behavior Analyst who creates the care plan and analyzes the data I collect with my clients. 

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I think where you are is good experience because the memory care unit can be very difficult. I work in a neurosurgery unit and our patient acuity is very high and has provided challenging yet rewarding experiences. Rather than going back to school to get an EMT, you can ask about any opportunities for advancement in your current job. Another option would be, after you complete your year, to apply to a hospital setting where you will see more of a wide variety of patients. Some options available with your CNA, at least at my hospital in Phoenix, include endoscopy technician, emergency department technician (EDT not EMT and requires CNA/EMT certification), clinical research assistant, dialysis technician, and patient care assistant/technician. The best thing you can do to make yourself marketable, I think, is to just get your year of experience rather than gain more certificates because even having more certifications won't give you a pay raise even though it's an investment for you. In your free time, I would say to volunteer and serve your community. 

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On 7/3/2017 at 9:16 PM, ajames said:

I think where you are is good experience because the memory care unit can be very difficult. I work in a neurosurgery unit and our patient acuity is very high and has provided challenging yet rewarding experiences. Rather than going back to school to get an EMT, you can ask about any opportunities for advancement in your current job. Another option would be, after you complete your year, to apply to a hospital setting where you will see more of a wide variety of patients. Some options available with your CNA, at least at my hospital in Phoenix, include endoscopy technician, emergency department technician (EDT not EMT and requires CNA/EMT certification), clinical research assistant, dialysis technician, and patient care assistant/technician. The best thing you can do to make yourself marketable, I think, is to just get your year of experience rather than gain more certificates because even having more certifications won't give you a pay raise even though it's an investment for you. In your free time, I would say to volunteer and serve your community. 

Thanks for the suggestions ... Although I am considering to take a phlebotomy course and I am revamping my resume' *fingers crossed*

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On 7/3/2017 at 2:52 PM, Maynard said:

The ideal approach is going to vary by adcoms, but I think your best bet is to invest energy beefing up your academic resume/GPA. If you can score really high on the GRE it might help as well. I know there are a lot of veteran members/moderators here on the forum who think clinical experience is the most important qualification for future PAs, but I don't think they're on the same page as the bulk of the programs out there.

Yes, I am looking into some GRE books as we speak ...

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First, have you considered medical school, DO school to be specific?

Second, I can see your desire to work in psychiatry/behavioral health. Just be aware that PAs are a definite minority in that specialty, to the point where certain states don't even recognize PAs as behavioral health professionals. Louisiana just passed a bill saying that PAs can NOW issue emergency certificates for behavioral health patients to be admitted. (previously only psychiatrists, Nurse practitioners, and Psychologists could do this).

Are you applying to PA school this year?

What is your current GPA/sGPA?

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If I were you I would try to get into a hospital and work as an ED tech. The experience is great and you will learn a lot more as opposed to working as a CNA in an assisted living facility. Most ED tech positions require at least a year of CNA/PCT experience so you are almost there in that regard. The pay is usually better also.

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