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What was your training like?

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I thought it would be a good idea if practicing PAs shared their training experience in different fields. What I mean is: what was your training like as a new grad in FM? ER? Any specialty. How many patients did you see at first? Did you "shadow' providers for a week? Were you required to present your patients at first? What is an ideal training period? How many days of EHR training?

I feel like this could give new grads an idea of what to expect or ask for during training. Template could go something like: specialty, training period and what it encompassed, whether you thought it was sufficient etc.

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I was hired by the IHS facility I had done a 4 month family medicine rotation at.  I already knew the EHR and the staff pretty well.  There was essentially no break-in period.  The only things that changed were that I had no one reviewing my notes except my SP once/month instead of my preceptor every day.  And I had the flexibility to make my own decisions.

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I started in rural primary care and was literally completely on my own most of the time. The physician would leave whenever she liked and some days wouldn't show up at all. The staff at the office were obviously accustomed to her erratic behavior because they had no problem bringing every single problem to me and expecting a solution. It was the most draining, uneasy and confusing experience of my life and it was very short lived. 

My next job was the one I am still currently working at which is a large healthcare system in our state. I work with a large group of doctors and practitioners with several different offices and our main hospital. I shadowed an NP for about a month and had time to learn and look things up before they set me loose on my own. However, they did set me loose on my own and even though I was a little better prepared, there were still many days when I felt like I was drowning. 

It takes time and experience and repetition and then eventually it doesn't feel like every day is an avalanche of new problems and concepts accompanied by that sinking feeling like somehow you have to fix all of it. No matter how you do it, gentle and hand-holding or out of the frying pan/into the fire ... eventually you just have to get out there and start to become the practitioner that you want to be. 

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