Surgical PA Roles & ResponsibilitiesTweet
Surgical PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and preventative care, under the supervision of a physician or surgeon. In addition, surgical PAs can function as researcher, committee member, supplier, and surgical equipment supply or pharmaceutical representative liaison and much more. The typical PA program is 25.5 months long. The curriculum parallels that of medical school and includes courses in human anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, physical diagnosis, pathophysiology, microbiology, clinical laboratory sciences, behavioral sciences, and medical ethics. Physicians and physician assistant educators teach the bulk of the courses. Following approximately one year of didactic classroom work, PA students complete on average, 2,000 hours of supervised clinical practice before graduation. This includes classroom and clinical instruction during clinical rotations in both medical and surgical specialties. Required rotations include family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, geriatrics, and behavioral medicine. PAs can bill for their services, including billing for first assist in the OR.
Surgical PA Roles
While surgical PAs assist the physician in the global management of patient care in all peri-operative settings, their primary role is to assist licensed physicians in patient surgery. This end-to-end involvement enables surgical PAs to provide unparalleled continuity of patient care. Often surgical PAs handle routine problems and procedures, freeing the surgeon to concentrate on more complex patients.
In-office Patient Care
Surgical PAs can perform all manner of patient care in the office setting, as determined by the supervising surgeon.
Surgical PAs can alleviate the frustration of canceled, delayed or bumped cases.
- 1st assistant in surgery – Performs first assist duties, including ensuring all needed equipment and supplies are present. Keep your surgical skills up-to-date with CME.
- Post-op – Writes orders in the recovery room, talks with family, visits patients, performs post-op procedures and more.
- Discharge planning – Dictates discharge summaries, writes prescriptions, explains discharge instructions, confirms follow-up appointments and more.
Research & Administration
- Researcher – Conducts, designs and/or participates in research studies.
- Committee Member – Play a role on education committees, medical supply, and equipment committees and more. A hospital selects its surgical equipment based on the demands of the surgeon. More and more, surgical PAs are deciding which products to use.
- Supplier and Pharmaceutical Rep Liaison – Serve as a mediator between the surgeon and/or practice and the drug reps/instrument sales reps.
Duties & Responsibilities
General Duties & Responsibilities
Hospital Duties & Responsibilities
Office Duties & Responsibilities