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Clinical education as clinical hours?


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Hi all,
I am crafting a letter to some schools to see if they would accept my role as a clinical systems educator as clinical hours. It is a fairly unique role with new EMRs coming out like our big Cerner implementation in Concord, New Hampshire. Do you think Clinical Education counts towards clinical hours? I highlighted where I discuss my job so no need to read through the whole thing.

Dear (SCHOOL),

My professional goal is to pursue a career as a surgical physician assistant and I am most interested in your program at Tufts.  My request of you is to consider my current work as filling some of the direct patient care requirements.  I had a unique opportunity presented to me this past year which has impacted notable time I have to work my other position as an EMT.  I had worked at Concord Hospital as a scribe in the emergency department and based on my interactions with the staff I was contacted to be considered for a role as a clinical system educator.  This was a new position created as the organization transferred from the current Legacy systems to an integrated Cerner electronic health record.  This offer was very intriguing; I have worked full time as a clinical system educator during the transition which occurred on December 1, 2017.

The position includes training new users on the Cerner system as well as providing at the elbow support during the implementation phase.  I have worked with all levels of clinical staff and have learned much about the interdependencies of the various clinical disciplines.  I have had significant contact with providers helping them navigate the new system to deliver patient care.  This support includes all aspects of using the EMR including computerized provider order entry and clinical documentation.  I also have been front-line support in the emergency department and in the operating room giving me unique perspectives on the complexity of care delivered in these areas.

As your website states, “The Admissions Committee is looking for direct patient care experience that will allow candidates to mature, experience whether health care is the right career path for them, and be exposed to the types of duties and functions that a healthcare professional provides.” I feel strongly that my role as a clinical educator encompasses these standards.

I do have direct patient care experience as an EMT and as a medical technician during a medical mission to Guatemala.  My total direct patient care hours prior to my current job are about 1000 hours.  I plan to continue to do EMT work but my current time is limited because of the job demands as a clinical system educator, preparing for my upcoming MCAT exam, and for filling my military requirements.  I will accumulate more hours but would still like to apply to your program and would like your consideration to count my current clinical system educator hours towards this requirement.

Thank you for your consideration,

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Seems like helpful experience but not really direct patient care in my mind, but you are doing the right thing by reaching out to the programs.  I'm a little confused, because in your post intro you made it seem like you were reaching out to ask them if it would work (the right thing to do), but when reading your email it seems like you are stating that they should consider it clinical hours without leaving any room for their input (maybe not the right thing to do).  You might want to re-frame it as a question for them, and cut out some of the extraneous details, since it is a pretty straightforward question that might not need 5 paragraphs to get to.  Just my 2 cents.

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11 hours ago, ciethekid said:

I hope this doesn't come off rude-ish...

But if you have or will have the required number of hours, why reach out and ask for the Educator hours to be considered? As the previous poster stated, it's not really direct patient care. Honestly, I'm just curious as to what the goal is.

I am close to getting 1000 hours. Work/life has been impacting my ability to do that. My goal is to ask schools to consider my current work as counting towards those hours. I may be one-sided but I think my job goes above and beyond what it means to understand how healthcare professionals function and the care they provide which I think is the important factor when considering prospective PA students. 

I dont think you came off as rude, it is helping me craft my letter better. Perhaps I wont mention I am already close to getting 1000 hours

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29 minutes ago, ryanbradfordclark said:

I am close to getting 1000 hours. Work/life has been impacting my ability to do that. My goal is to ask schools to consider my current work as counting towards those hours. I may be one-sided but I think my job goes above and beyond what it means to understand how healthcare professionals function and the care they provide which I think is the important factor when considering prospective PA students. 

I dont think you came off as rude, it is helping me craft my letter better. Perhaps I wont mention I am already close to getting 1000 hours

Ahh.. that makes sense. 

Ditto what PP said and excluding that you will be at the required amount of hours. The worst that could happen is having those hours excluded which would still be ok because you have the other hours too.

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I'm not trying to rain on your parade... but teaching someone to use an EMR is not direct patient care.

I'm familiar with your position and role .... we are actually in the middle of an EMR change currently. I really don't think that much if any clinical knowledge is needed/applied. But I'm not an admission committee and the worst they can say is no. Good luck with your future studies!

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