Hello! I hope someone can help!! I am so confused in regards to if a medical assistant is considered PCE or HCE for CASPA. I've been an MA for 3 years, this past year I've been working in an Urgent Care. However, the two years prior is what I'm worried about. I do feel it's considered PCE based on what I did/level of responsibility, but the way CASPA describes it is freaking me out a bit. This might be a long post but I hope even just 1 person can give me some insight!!
"Patient Care Experience
Experiences in which you are directly responsible for a patient's care. For example, prescribing medication, performing procedures, directing a course of treatment, designing a treatment regimen, actively working on patients as a nurse, paramedic, EMT, CNA, phlebotomist, physical therapist, dental hygienist, etc.
Both paid and unpaid work in a health or health-related field where you are not directly responsible for a patient's care, but may still have patient interaction; for example, filling prescriptions, performing clerical work, delivering patient food, cleaning patients and/or their rooms, administering food or medication, taking vitals or other record keeping information, working as a scribe, CNA (depending on job description), medical assistant, etc."
I've been a Medical Assistant since 2018, right when I graduated I got a job through my MA externship to work in a GI/Colorectal surgery clinic inside a local hospital. The office had 4 GI Drs, 3 colorectal surgeons, 1 hepatologist & had 2 PAs/1 NP (one for each field). I worked with 3-4 other medical assistants and we did everything. We roomed patients (some days seeing 90-100 patients), covered for surgical schedulers if needed, covered for the front desk if needed. On top of doing out our own job! We were assigned physicians we would personally work with to delegate where patient calls/messages would go. For the first year, I was the MA for 1 gastroenterologist. The second year, I was promoted to working with the colorectal surgery team. I then worked with 3 surgeons (with 1 other MA), 1 was the chief of colorectal surgery for the hospital - I became one of his personal scribes who would go in while seeing patients and do his note/visit summaries, we would see around 20-30 patients when he was in clinic.
Day to day duties consisted of prioritizing/answering messages/calls from patients in a timely manner, either helping them if we can ourselves or passing on the message to the appropriate physician where we would call the patient with their response. We would prescribe medications based on what the provider wanted, meaning: they would tell us what to prescribe and we would propose the orders for them so they didn't have to. Assisting in in-office procedures. It's important to add that I did too have a handful of administrative duties like scanning in medical records, refill requests, scheduling appointments, prior authorizations through insurance companies. (Even these I would think should be considered PCE based on the responsibility factor).
Long story short, I did A LOT of work that I feel is considered Patient Care Experience, regardless of it's considered administrative or clinical. Meaning, I felt that I was directly responsible for the care of patients, under the supervision of the physicians. If I did call back to explain a treatment plan (made by the physician), then the patient would never get called. If I didn't call to schedule their surgery and make sure they have everything they need to prepare for a colonoscopy or colon resection, it would be my fault.
In August of 2020 I transferred to an Urgent Care as I begun my prerequisite PA courses that needed to be on campus (or so I thought bc of COVID). Anyways, I am getting (official) back office MA experience now. However, I am terrified that my 2 years (4,000 hrs+) of GI/Colorectal surgery experience will be deemed as Healthcare experience rather than Patient care experience, which I feel would hurt my chances of getting into PA school. Even the thought of dividing it half and half between PCE & HCE doesn't make me happy, but I rather do that then consider all this time HCE.
I'm sorry for this long post, maybe I'm being ridiculous and overthinking this - but if anyone can share their insight or personal experience that would be highly appreciated!!
Thank you ❤️
Hello! I’m currently a senior biology major working as a medical scribe for a bit over 1 year now. I have accumulated about 1100 hours so far and have a cGPA of 3.63 and a science GPA of 3.36. I also have volunteered at a food bank with about 100 hours during the weekends. As a scribe I chart many aspects of the patient visit including vitals, HPI, physical exam and future plans. I also occasionally assist the provider with small tasks such as cerumen flushing in internal medicine or taking an US in a rheumatology setting. I have been researching PA programs to apply to and focusing on those that list scribing as PCE. I am worried that this experience alone may not be enough as some schools don’t mention scribing as true PCE and I don’t feel I am able to gain another experience as I am currently studying for the GRE, working 3 times a week and will begin my next school semester soon. During my gap year after I apply I will have more time to find another part time job but this won’t be reflected on my application. Will I still have a chance at being accepted into a program next cycle and if not what else do you recommend I do prior to applying? Thanks for any help you can provide.
I feel like I'm seeing more and more current college students and recent grads on here, knowing that they want to pursue PA right out of the gate (which is awesome!)
I'm curious what the breakdown is of pre-PA folks here who are pursuing a career pivot to PA vs those who are pursuing PA as their first career (or whose PCE/HCE job was chosen specifically to meet PA school requirements)?
(I've been a certified athletic trainer for 7 years and have had my sights set on PA for about 4 years -- had to spruce up the ol' GPA prior to applying -- this year is my first application cycle! I've absolutely loved being and ATC, and plan to keep my certification active as a PA, but have reached the point where I really want to be able to do more for my patients. I know, cliche... but true.)
Hello, I am currently as sophomore at my university, and I was wondering when would be the best time to start working 1000-2000 HCE or PCE experience? I plan to appy when I complete my undergrad. I am looking into working as a scribe or a CNA. Thank you.
This may be an ultimately personal decision but I wanted some feedback. Sorry if it’s long.
Currently my mother is undergoing aggressive chemo. She has her “on” week and then two weeks “off”. She has a few months left of her treatment and I currently live with her so Im taking her to appointments and helping her with what she needs. Although she is younger and doesn’t need a ton of care.
She was diagnosed just months ago and it has obviously been a whirlwind with this and COVID. I previously was planning to be working full time by now and get PCE hours to apply next application year as I currently have 0 hours. I was planning to take O-Chem this fall and I’ve been studying for the GRE for about a month.
The only part-time jobs I’ve been able to find are physical therapy aide jobs in private non-inpatient places (of which I have an interview next week) but I’m the least stoked on PT aide. Maybe someone with that experience could make the case for it? I’m an introvert who loves people but I’m not an athletic, comfortable in a sports environment type. I do love one on one connections though and am not overly shy.
I have shadowed in multiple health clinics, I just don’t care much for PT! But I know it’s stepping stone.
I feel like if I got into this part time job I’d probably would want to in a few months if things settle down with my mom to move to full time in another job. Is it worth it to take on a part time job to at least get some hours started for just a few months or just wait it out and worry about the other things in my life first?
Of course the extra worry of potential patient contact meaning advanced exposure which I would bring home to my mom.
For context I plan to apply to many schools with only recommended patient care or very low requirements and I have a 4.0 post bacc in pre-reqs and 3.73 of my first degree in economics.