PAs in Neurosurgery play an integral role in the global management of neurosurgery patients, including all aspects of pre-, intra- and post-operative care. Neurosurgery PAs perform patient histories, help with treatment plans, serve as first assistant in surgery in which they assist with all neurosurgical procedures, manage post-operative care and handle a myriad of office-related duties.

Neurosurgery PAs work under the supervision of the Neurosurgeon. Their knowledge, education and skills benefit the Neurosurgeon and the Neurosurgical practice by reducing the amount time the Neurosurgeon spends with small issues allowing the surgeon to handle the more seriously ill patients.

It will take time to adjust to the operating room environment. If a Neurosurgical practice hires a new grad they must understand that the Neurosurgeons must instruct and demonstrate to that individual their method of dealing with Neurosurgical problems conditions surgical techniques.

Job Qualifications

  • Master degree and post-graduate surgical residency
  • PAs with no neurosurgical experience take approximately one year to fully handle the day-to-day office and hospital routine
  • Ramp up time for OR proficiency often depends on the Neurosurgeon's ability to instruct and demonstrate on their individual methods

General Duties & Responsibilities

  • Performs comprehensive and problem-focused histories and physical examinations
  • Interprets laboratory and diagnostic tests
  • Interprets and correlates subjective and objective data
  • Formulates a differential diagnosis and establishes a working diagnosis
  • Develops a treatment plan for neurosurgical conditions within the scope of practice and in conjunction with the neurosurgeon
  • Implements therapeutic intervention for specific conditions where appropriate
  • Exercise judgment on conditions requiring consultation, referral or evaluation by the supervising neurosurgeon or other healthcare professionals

Hospital Duties & Responsibilities

  • Performs first assistant duties
  • Closes deep and superficial wounds
  • Assists with neurosurgical procedures, including craniotomies, spinal procedures (including instrumentations) and microscopic procedures
  • Conducts hospital rounds on a daily basis of all patients including intensive care units
  • Write orders and progress notes
  • Performs all admission history and physicals
  • Orders appropriate laboratory and radiographic tests, such as MRIs, myleograms, bone scans and other radiographic studies
  • Performs appropriate laboratory and diagnostic studies, such as lumbar punctures, ventriculostomies, myleograms, and placement of tong traction and halo fixation devices
  • Evaluates and clarifies clinical conditions
  • Formulates and implements treatment and therapeutic plans for hospitalized patients
  • Handles discharge planning and dictates discharge summaries

Office Duties & Responsibilities

  • Sees all new office patients and completes a thorough history and physical examination that is problem-oriented for neurosurgical conditions
  • Presents the patient to attending neurosurgeons
  • Helps to formulate treatment plans
  • Orders appropriate radiographic studies
  • Performs office procedures such as local blocks
  • Evaluates post-operative patients and does routine follow-up visits
  • Is available to see patients requiring same-day office visits
  • Returns phone calls of from patients
  • Handles prescription refills
  • Reviews radiographic reports and laboratory reports for abnormalities
  • Reviews x-rays, MRIs and CT scans of hospitalized patients and office patients with the attending neurosurgeon
  • Evaluates, screens and counsels patients on health maintenance and promote utilization of community resources
  • Designs, conducts and or participates in research studies
  • Manages databases
  • Perform quality assurance