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Depends on who you are working with and where. Many times the provider themselves aren’t comfortable with a procedure, so they really aren’t comfortable supervising. More often I had trouble with rotations at teaching facilities, thus the procedure more often went to a resident, a medical student, or another specialty service. Did way more procedures at smaller facilities.

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Everyone will have a different answer to this because like stated above, it is variable based on the type of facility, residents or no, how many other students, hospital policies etc. For example, I was first assist in more than half of the cases I scrubbed on for my surgery rotation but I was at a non academic hospital without residents or med students versus other students at academic hospitals where there residents and other students so you had to take more turns scrubbing in. 

If you can show you can be trusted early on and can demonstrate competency in other ways, it may improve your chances of your preceptors having you perform the procedure with their supervision. You will want to become very friendly with the nursing staff where ever you are (especially in the OR) and ask them if you can spend some time placing IVs or foleys. But the majority of the time should be spent alongside your preceptor and what they are wanting you to do. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have had students rotate at the same site with the same preceptors, and one will say that the rotation was boring and they didn't get to do anything, then the next student says it was awesome and they logged a ton of procedures. The biggest variable seems to be the student. 

As noted above, it will frequently depend on how you present yourself. In most situations, you have to earn the ability to perform procedures. You can do so by arriving early, staying late, and being organized and reliable. There is a delicate balance to run on rotations. You want to be assertive and enthusiastic, but not come across as a jerk. But if you are eager to learn, most people will be eager to teach. 

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