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 ❤️
I'm new to this forum and desperately need the help of people who has knowledge of what it takes to become a PA! I'm a current undergrad student, a sophomore majoring in Global Public Health with a possible minor in Biology. I'm on the road to obtaining all my prerequisites, but I'm really struggling with the patient care experience hours needed. Most schools I'm viewing need 1,000 plus hours which seems insane to me. I feel like most of the jobs acceptable for direct patient care contact are things that need even more schooling, such as an MA or EMT. I've applied many places to become a Medical Scribe, or PT Aide but haven't heard back. Am I doomed to take a gap year after I get my bachelor's? I don't know how to get the needed experience without prior experience. I wrote on all my applications I'm open to complete volunteer work but still nothing.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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'm currently searching for EMPA jobs in the Seattle area. Looking to move in late spring/early summer of 2021 for my boyfriend's job. I've completed a postgrad residency in emergency medicine in an inner city hospital in the midwest. Will have 2 years of experience by time of move, was also an EMT-B for 3 years prior to school. I was wondering if anyone had information on good hospitals/groups to look at or knows of any places hiring!