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Best job for HCE and PCE

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As the title mentions, what is the most valuable job in order to get HCE and PCE hours. In addition, based on your cohort, which do you believe would outperform in PA school.

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There's really no generic or universal answer to that question.  Do you want to be an EM PA?  Flight/critical care paramedic is probably the best, but there are plenty of others.  That pre-PA job would NOT likely be the best for a PA who wanted to go into interventional radiology, on the other hand...  There's a lot of GOOD choices, but the best?  That's a matter of circumstance and opinion.

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38 minutes ago, rev ronin said:

There's really no generic or universal answer to that question.  Do you want to be an EM PA?  Flight/critical care paramedic is probably the best, but there are plenty of others.  That pre-PA job would NOT likely be the best for a PA who wanted to go into interventional radiology, on the other hand...  There's a lot of GOOD choices, but the best?  That's a matter of circumstance and opinion.

From my understanding PA's dont essentially have to stick with one specialty, but yes I understand what you're saying. It is a matter of opinion, but I just wanted an idea so I could prepare myself more. Thanks!

Edited by Jose314

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I would suggest something that is more hands on within the health care system; medical assistants, patient care technicians, ER tech, etc. Some schools don't count scribe hours as highly as those other jobs because they are not technically "touching" patients even though it's great exposure. I would suggest reaching out to your top school choices to see if they have a preference for PCE hours.

Edited by ems94
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I think a lot of people forget that the traditional path still remains high school, bachelors in biology, PA program. Too many people are recommending nursing school, resp tech, all these positions that require huge commitments. As they are valuable, I think the most straight forward path to take is ER tech. There’s no prior experience required and regardless of the school they will award you greatly for the experience.

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Many schools consider scribing great experience and it requires little to no training (with the exception of being trained through ScribeAmerica, that process is unnecessarily long. You can learn everything you need about scribing from Youtube and quickly scanning through your practices typically used medical terminology on Quizlet to get started). However, schools love seeing EMT or ER tech experience. I recommend ER tech, mostly because that is what has been largely recommended to me. You got this:)

 

PS. Believe it or not, I was at an interview yesterday and a couple of members of the adcom said that they liked seeing experience as a sim-patient as a pre-PA student. Most colleges with attached med schools or PA programs have these positions available to their undergraduate students, so I would definitely seek out a position doing that if you want a cool experience to add to your application. It demonstrates to adcoms that you are interested in the profession and have a knowledge of some basic pathology in order to act it out. It doesn't count for PCE or HCE, but it is a good experience that enhances the quality of your application and it is GREAT side money. Just a little nugget for you:)

Edited by TMayne2
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On 10/31/2018 at 7:31 AM, Notfall said:

I think a lot of people forget that the traditional path still remains high school, bachelors in biology, PA program. Too many people are recommending nursing school, resp tech, all these positions that require huge commitments. As they are valuable, I think the most straight forward path to take is ER tech. There’s no prior experience required and regardless of the school they will award you greatly for the experience.

I think you misspelled "shortcut":  Traditional is that PAs are mid-career medical professionals.  Current is that they are inexperienced <25 year olds with awesome GPAs and minimal healthcare experience.

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3 minutes ago, rev ronin said:

I think you misspelled "shortcut":  Traditional is that PAs are mid-career medical professionals.  Current is that they are inexperienced <25 year olds with awesome GPAs and minimal healthcare experience.

Exactly. Could not agree more. The traditional applicant is a person with prior significant medical experience.

In answer to the question posed by the OP, the top performers in my class of 80 were medics, resp therapists, and RNs/LPNs, In fact, based solely on GPA at graduation,  #s 1-3 were paramedics and 4-10 were nurses and resp therapists. There was a DIRECT correlation in my class between intensity/duration of prior experience and GPA. Our top student was a 10 year paramedic(not me) and our worst student was a 21 year old emt(it was a BS program at the time).

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2 hours ago, Notfall said:

Clearly someone who has experience in the healthcare field as a professional (nurse, rt, etc) will typically perform better in an environment created to fast track mid levels. With that being said, if the field were looking to recruit mostly this category of individuals, then a prerequisite would be some sort of post high school cert, instead of a bachelors degree as it currently is. As an exaggeration, if you put an MD or DO through a PA program, I am sure they would excel. Is this program meant for them? Not nesecerily. 

the truth of the matter is that the best applicants have BOTH a BS AND prior training...

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Something in family medicine or emergency care.

I currently work as a clinical assistant at a pain clinic and wear many different hats as the radiology tech, ultrasound tech, nerve conduction study tech, I scribe for new patient visits, take blood pressure and urine samples, take blood glucose tests, operate a CTEV laser, and am in on both interventional pain management procedures as well as vascular surgery in the OR and I was told that my direct patient care is "too niche and specialized" by two different programs and I was waitlisted for that reason and that reason alone.

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12 hours ago, Notfall said:

Wow @Ollivander, that’s a shame because it seems like you have a ton of general experience in many fields that actually require schooling/certifications.

I agree. I really don’t know what to make of it honestly. Good news is those programs told me if I were to get primary care experience I’d come off the waitlist, but I think their reason for waitlisting me is BS. I explained in interviews how it was the only opportunity I had to gain PCE out of college, and that I had plans to diversify my PCE in the near future. I just think it’s a cop out reason they told me because other applicants interviewed better or were more articulate. Who really knows though. After basically wasting my gap year getting the wrong PCE I would encourage everyone to either get a job as a MA in a primary care setting or to work as an EMT or ER tech in an emergency care setting. Anything else if putting yourself at risk of not getting in.

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On 10/31/2018 at 7:31 AM, Notfall said:

I think a lot of people forget that the traditional path still remains high school, bachelors in biology, PA program. Too many people are recommending nursing school, resp tech, all these positions that require huge commitments. As they are valuable, I think the most straight forward path to take is ER tech. There’s no prior experience required and regardless of the school they will award you greatly for the experience.

Well that's what makes the PA career so special and unique-that students come with prior experience that they then build on during PA school.

And ER tech is not a straight forward path. It's very hard to get hired as an ER tech and requires you to be EMT certified and have worked as an EMT for quite some time. ER Tech positions are very competitive and very difficult to get. Speaking from experience, I applied to over 40 positions, having worked as an EMT for 2 years and finally got hired 6 months ago as a Tech. Then again I'm a female so I feel like that also played a part.

But I do agree that being an EMT is probably one of the best ways to get clinical hours because EMT classes teach you A LOT of medical info, and you get a lot of hands on clinical care while working for a 911 company. Courses are also not that long since they offer condensed programs that last as little as 3 months.

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