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Wint3rsoldi3r

Non-Traditional Pre-PA Student

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Hey guys I’m brand new to this forum and it seems really informative from what I’ve read and I thought maybe some of you could give me some insight on being a non trad pre PA student. I’m 27 years old I have 4 kids and am currently Finishing up pre reqs to get into PA School. 

I’ve taken some general classes but this class will be my first solid semester getting into my degree and I’m a bit nervous. Moreso because I’m afraid of failing but I’m also really excited. I changed to the PA profession from Nursing because I like the scope of practice they have. Being able to treat and perscribe while In collaboration with a team or Physician. It’s kind of how my job is now. I’ve Had my CNA since I was 15 and have worked various jobs over the years and Nursing just isn’t for me. I currently have my CNA and CCHT and work in a hospital doing Acute Dialysis. After being in the medical field as long as I have Ia greater appreciation for the medicine aspect and how knowledgeable PA’s are. I’ve always wanted to go to medical school but after talking to few physicians and PAs and doing my research PA is the job for me. 

My question is for anyone but mainly the Non Trad Students. I want to know what how you balanced family school work and what recommendations you would have? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one going through this transition.

Edited by Wint3rsoldi3r
Better wording for question

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I was 30 when I started PA school.  I don't have children but can at least give you some idea on balancing things. 

As far as work goes, it is not recommended to work during school due to the intensity of a PA program.  Some of my classmates worked on the weekends and during breaks, so it's not impossible but will definitely impact your study time.

The students who had children/families worked their study time around family time - some came to school early, some stayed after class and a lot of the times, I think people got a lot of studying done after their kids went to sleep.  People without children either came to school early or stayed after too (or up all night) in order to study so the habits are not that different.

You'll have to plan your studying around life, but it doesn't have to be consuming.  What I mean is  you will know when exams, assignments, quizzes, etc are due which can help how you study throughout the week.  For example, my spouse worked every other weekend, so when he worked, I knew I'd have the whole weekend to focus on studying if I wanted to.  If we planned something specific for his weekend off, I would put more time into studying during the week.  If I had a test on Monday and wanted to get together with friends on a Sunday, then I'd do as much studying for the exam ahead of time (on Saturday and during the previous week) as I could.  I think it's smarter to plan ahead like this in regards to studying if you can.  This is just my point of view, but hopefully others with families can give you better insight into that balance as well.

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I'm in PA school with 2 kids. Biggest thing will be your support system - you NEED to have solid support to do this, ideally with more than one person helping at home. You need to know that someone reliable will be with the kids so you can focus on studying instead of worrying about them eating dinner or getting to bed or doing their homework. Also, your support system has to really understand what a big time commitment PA school is, especially in your first year. Your schoolwork and studying has to come first for it to really work. My husband essentially put his personal life on hold and became Mr. Mom for the past 2 years so I could be successful, and my in-laws have helped a ton. I owe a huge amount of my success so far to them. Best of luck!

Edited by lastone

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