Advice needed for building experience hours for PA applications

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Aug 19, 2017
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I would like to have opinions on accelerated courses for someone who already has some background in the health care field and education. My ultimate goal is to complete enough hand on hours to be eligible for PA School. So far I have 450 hours, but need 2000 for one of the schools I want to apply to. Additionally, I just want to work in the healthcare field as much as possible until I get into school.

Generally I feel that a longer course means higher retention of material, but all I've read here so far suggests that there isnt as much material to be learned from the EMT-B course as there is OJT. I have been a CNA part time for nearly a year, in addition to taking Combat Life Saving courses while in the military. Would an accelerated (2 week, or hybrid online plus 1 week hands on) program be a reasonable way to plus up my certifications and switch from being a CNA to being an EMT? I've gotten enough bedside manner and patient care experience from being a CNA and a Physical Therapy Rehab Aide that I feel I understand the job and the atmosphere, and I want to move on to a more critical care/medical application rather than caregiving.

I am pressed for time or I wouldnt be considering the accelerated path. I will graduate with my Bachelors in December, want to take an EMT course immediately after, and start working in January. PA applications open in April, and deadlines are in September (although I want to apply early for rolling admissions). Would an accelerated course be advisable to start working fast and accruing hours, or will the accelerated course just look bad on a school application? Does it matter?

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You may have already done this, but figure out if the school you want to apply to has a standard of not only the number of hours, but also the type of experience. Only you know what school it is, but on school I know of wants a certain number of hours, and they tell you what kind of healthcare work that those hours can be from.... Certain entry level stuff doesn't count for them.
Sure, I think added EMT to your resume could very well be helpful. It gives you additional experience and perspective on medicine.
I don't know how tacking on an EMT would look "bad" at all. It may end up cutting into the amount of total health care hours you have by taking you away from your CNA position while you train. You may be striving for a certain number of hours, and only you know what threshold you need to meet in that regard. But personally, I'd rather be an EMT on a rig or in an ER as an ER tech if they have that role available, so I'd pursue it if I had the chance. Time constraints, and minimum hours, as well as quality of the healthcare experience... all that is for you to piece together. I don't know if the amount of hours you would be able to cobble together as an EMT would be enough to be impressive if thats what you are shooting for. Its hard to tell what you are hoping to get out of the EMT thing.

Best advice anyone can give you is get good grades in school. The other stuff can be worked out over time. All of that HCE is entry level stuff, so its not going to be a golden ticket to PA school, but personally, I wouldn't blame you for pursuing something more interesting to you than being a CNA or therapy aid.