Orthopedic Physician Assistant
Orthopedic physician assistants are medical professionals who specialize in orthopedic medicine. They work under the direction and supervision of an orthopedic physician or surgeon. Orthopedic medicine is a field that is dedicated to diagnosing and treating problems of the musculoskeletal system. The health care providers in this specialty see patients before, during and operations.
Orthopedic Physician Assistant Duties
Orthopedic physician assistants are responsible for developing a preliminary care plan based on the patient’s medical history.They may also order lab tests and x-rays. These physician assistants may change the patient’s care plan based on the results of those tests.
Other duties that orthopedic physician assistants have include: applying local anesthetics, treating fractures, performing sutures and removing staples. They also record the progress that the patient has made and report to the physician. These medical professionals also instruct patients about different issues and ordering of medical supplies. They also follow up with patients after surgery to make sure that no adverse reaction have occurred.
What Skills Must A Orthopedic Physician Assistant Possess?
There are several skills that you must have or learn to work as an orthopedic physician assistant. One of those skills is strong communication. These medical professionals have to be able to work with both patients and surgeons, so being skilled in interpersonal communication is a must.
Orthopedic physician assistants also have to be organized, detail oriented and have a great knowledge of the equipment and medical procedures that this field has. They must also know how to keep their work environment safe, follow rules and procedures, and handle medical emergencies appropriately. Professionalism and basic computer skills are also very important. This field requires a lot of standing and walking so a person should also be in good shape physically.
Orthopedic Physician Assistant Education
Orthopedic physician assistants are required to graduate from an accredited physician assistant program before they are allowed to practice. These programs take anywhere from two to four years to complete. Students must have completed at least two years of college before they are accepted into a physician assistant program. Anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, physical diagnosis, clinical medicine, pharmacology and biochemistry are some of the core classes of a physician assistant program. However, most physician assistants interested in orthopedic medicine go on to get a masters degree in that field. Also having specific clinical experiences in orthopedic medicine is also a must.
Orthopedic Physician Assistant License
Physician Assistant students are required to pass a national exam before they are given the title as a certified physician assistant. They are also required to take continuing education classes every two years and pass the certification exam every two years. This allows physician assistants to stay on top of all of the advances in medicine and technology that take place every year.
Current Outlook For A Orthopedic Physician Assistant
With more and more healthcare groups and medical centers going into specialize medicine, the need for orthopedic physician assistants will be necessary and in high demand. This field is expected to increase by 39 percent over the next few years. The average starting salary for physician assistants in orthopedic medicine is around $88,000 dollars according to Indeed. However after a few years of experience in this field these physician assistants can command salaries ranging from $150K to 250K a year.