Question about working while in PA school

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PA Student
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2005
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Hi all,

This is my first post and I first want to say what a pleasure it has been reading through all the discussions here. I've lost hours over the past few days searching through all the forums on SDN. That said, I'm looking for some advice/feedback. I'm going to be starting PA school (full-time) this summer in a new state (philadelphia area). What I want to know is how feasable it is to have a weekend job while in school. I've saved some money, but I'm sure it's going to disappear pretty quickly. Right now I work as a medical assistant and phlebotomist and I'm also EMT certified (though not Pennsylvania, so I'd have to change my certification). I don't really care what I do, but the least stressful, the better. Luckily, my parents will be helping with rent, and I'm selling my soul to loan companies for tuition, so I just need enough money for food/gas, etc. I don't have any children and my boyfriend and the rest of my family are going to be long distance (that's a stress for discussion in and of itself!), so nothing else is going to be taking up my time besides school. I know that during the clinical year it may be impossible because of changing schedules/locations, but what about the first year? Did anyone out there work while in school? What did you do? How did it impact your grades?
Any advice/feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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it is doable if you have a job that allows you some study time. I worked as a paramedic through pa school but had lots of time to study between calls. a regular job where you have to be on the go all the time probably wouldn't work. another guy in my class was a medevac helicopter pilot. same deal, lots of general wouldn't recommend need to study a few hrs/day during the week and a bunch on weekends so a regualar job is definitely out......
All the teachers will tell you that you cannot. However, I worked everyother weekend plus as an ICU aide through all my pre-reqs and my didactic year. I did not work during the clinical roatations even though the second year has less studying for tests, I felt like I was in the hospital enough all week and needed a break on the weekend. If it is important to you, by all means try to keep a part time job during school. If your like me who has worked since she was 14, it will help keep you sane.

Good Luck
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I worked 1-2x/month for 7 months as a medical technologist in a lab during this 1st yr of PA school. I was able to pick up a Saturday or a few hours during the week so it was pretty flexible. I stopped working just because school was getting busier and my position was being terminated anyways. It was nice having some $$ coming in and I did have some downtime to study during work hours. But I'd rather have a free Saturday to do something else other than work. If you are really wanting to get extra money, find a hospital nearby and do phlebotomy, getting any help in a lab is welcome and they will most likely be pretty flexible with hours. The school you're going to be at may also have on-campus jobs available. A couple of my classmates are lifeguards or health-club supervisors - they study while they work!!
Thanks everyone for your advice. I was leaning towards phlebotomy. I've learned this "on the job" and have gotten pretty good at it over the past few years. Will not being "certified" or never taking an actual class in it hurt me when finding a job?