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interested in psych

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Hello! I'm a PA-S interested in psych. I'm curious to hear if any of you guys are currently working in psych and if you're happy in the field, inpatient vs outpatient vs clinic, and if you had psych experience before PA school. Any advice or general thoughts would be appreciated. It seems like the field has quite a bit of NPs and not so many PAs, but maybe my perception is wrong. Thanks!

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I'm in the same boat. I have applied for a few jobs but so far they want experience and don't have resources to train a new grad at this time. This is not what I expected given the lack of mental health providers......

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I'm just a PA student as well, but when I was applying to my program I spent some time shadowing a psych PA in my area and she told me she is very, very happy in her job. She works strictly outpatient now but worked inpatient for several years, and she said outpatient is less draining, in her opinion. She had no prior psych experience and actually planned to go into women's health, but ended up falling in love with psych during her rotations and never looked back.

Anyway, like you guys, I have my heart set on getting a job in psych when I graduate (which is still 2 years away). Just curious, are you guys doing an extra psych rotation as your elective, to give you an edge in getting hired for psych positions? Obviously I'll already have a mandatory psych rotation through my school, but I was thinking of doing an extra one as my elective, to help prepare myself for working in psych as much as possible (since we don't get as much psych-specific training as PMHNPs). Can anyone weigh in on whether this is a good idea, or would I actually be better off diversifying my resume and doing my elective in something different?

 

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23 hours ago, GoldenGirl90 said:

I'm just a PA student as well, but when I was applying to my program I spent some time shadowing a psych PA in my area and she told me she is very, very happy in her job. She works strictly outpatient now but worked inpatient for several years, and she said outpatient is less draining, in her opinion. She had no prior psych experience and actually planned to go into women's health, but ended up falling in love with psych during her rotations and never looked back.

Anyway, like you guys, I have my heart set on getting a job in psych when I graduate (which is still 2 years away). Just curious, are you guys doing an extra psych rotation as your elective, to give you an edge in getting hired for psych positions? Obviously I'll already have a mandatory psych rotation through my school, but I was thinking of doing an extra one as my elective, to help prepare myself for working in psych as much as possible (since we don't get as much psych-specific training as PMHNPs). Can anyone weigh in on whether this is a good idea, or would I actually be better off diversifying my resume and doing my elective in something different?

 

Perhaps if you were still dead set on psych it wouldn't hurt to try and do 2 rotations. I would try to do both inpatient and outpatient as they are wayyy different. If your one psych rotation has both aspects, I would just do something else that might interest you like ortho, derm etc.

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Goldengirl90 - I'm in a similar boat as you - I'll start clinicals in about 6 months but have some time before I need to pick an elective. I don't know if I'll do an extra rotation in psych or if I'll do something else to be more well-rounded - I'll probably talk to several of my professors and maybe my psych lecturer when the time comes to decide and see what they suggest. Maybe the PA you shadowed would have some advice for you?

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12 hours ago, runnerpa-s said:

Goldengirl90 - I'm in a similar boat as you - I'll start clinicals in about 6 months but have some time before I need to pick an elective. I don't know if I'll do an extra rotation in psych or if I'll do something else to be more well-rounded - I'll probably talk to several of my professors and maybe my psych lecturer when the time comes to decide and see what they suggest. Maybe the PA you shadowed would have some advice for you?

I know how you feel! I did actually bring it up with her, and she said it depends on how positive I am that psych is what I want to do. If I'm sure it's what I want, she said the extra psych experience would of course be helpful. But if there's a chance there's some other random specialty, like neurology or something that isn't a mandatory rotation, that I could potentially love even more, then that would also be worth exploring. So I'm torn! I wonder if potential employers would be more likely to hire a PA if they had a second psych rotation, or if at the end of the day it wouldn't matter. 

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11 hours ago, GoldenGirl90 said:

I know how you feel! I did actually bring it up with her, and she said it depends on how positive I am that psych is what I want to do. If I'm sure it's what I want, she said the extra psych experience would of course be helpful. But if there's a chance there's some other random specialty, like neurology or something that isn't a mandatory rotation, that I could potentially love even more, then that would also be worth exploring. So I'm torn! I wonder if potential employers would be more likely to hire a PA if they had a second psych rotation, or if at the end of the day it wouldn't matter. 

I doubt you would be more likely to be hired by psych by doing a 2nd rotation UNLESS that rotation was with an organization that was hiring. I would explore other rotations just because you may not ever get to have experience in a certain field so you should try and get more diverse experience, just my opinion 

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