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Reapplying & The Need for PCE

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I applied to PA school this last cycle and am very lucky to have had a rather good turnout in regards to interviews and acceptances.  Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, I do not think I will be able to attend PA school this coming summer and will be reapplying in the coming 2020-2021 cycle. 

Prior to my last application, I had been working as an EMT in an IFT company to gain my PCE hours (1200 total). After I was accepted into school, I switched to a job at a medtech startup (mostly due to financial incentive reasons - wanting to save up for school!) where I do a myriad of things including running clinical trials and writing grants, but have no direct PCE. As I go into reapplying, I am curious if anyone has any thoughts/advice onto whether I should switch back to a job with direct PCE?  I know dedication to the profession is very important, so I am assuming this is what is needed, but the pay cut that comes along with switching is something I do not necessarily want. As I was accepted for a handful of programs last time, I am somewhat confident going into the application process again, but do not want to worsen my application by not having worked in a job with direct PCE. 

Any and all thoughts help! Thanks!

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Sorry to hear that you won't be able to attend despite getting accepted. To answer your question, I personally did just that prior to applying and it worked for me. I completed about 2,500 hours of PCE. I worked for a year to obtain my patient care hours. An opportunity came up for me to work in another area of the hospital (mine was the same pay) but it wasn't direct patient care experience. I worked there leading up to applying to school (about 8 months). I took the chance to leave patient care which was risky but it paid off. 

I noticed that I had far more to talk about in my interviews compared to others. It also shows that you want to keep learning and bring forward the knowledge that you've gained outside of your pce to your patients. Since you already received prior acceptances it shows that your application and interview skills were fine so I would say go for it. You've checked all the boxes and by doing something out of the box helps you stand out even more. If the new position is something you can tie into your desire to be a PA or if you learn something about the medical field even better! 

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