chadsurgtech

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I am a 3rd year biomedical science student (pre-med). I still have about 2 years of school left to finish my degree. I am planning to apply to physician assistant school when I finish. The problem is that the physician assistant programs require at least 1000 hours of health care experience to get in. I volunteer at a local hospital, but volunteer hours are not considered "high responsibility, patient contact" hours. I have been accepted into a surgical technology program starting in the fall, but it will take 2 semesters of time away from my biomed degree to finish. My financial situation is becoming a problem and I'm ready to get a degree, but at the same time I want to be good at what I do and I know the surgical technology program would be very educational for me. There are no job openings here that I am qualified for or that would count as patient contact hours. I have been told to do the surg. tech. program after I finish my biomed degree, but I could go make 10x the money then, and it would be hard to pass that up for a year of training for a $14/hour job!!! Does anyone have any suggestions? Any job recommendations to get the experience hours? How did everyone else build these hours up? Thanks for your help!
 

Dr.D-man

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Hey, I think you are going to get an interview for the PCA position at HCK. They asked me about you and I put in a good word.
 

lawguil

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chadsurgtech said:
I am a 3rd year biomedical science student (pre-med). I still have about 2 years of school left to finish my degree. I am planning to apply to physician assistant school when I finish. The problem is that the physician assistant programs require at least 1000 hours of health care experience to get in. I volunteer at a local hospital, but volunteer hours are not considered "high responsibility, patient contact" hours. I have been accepted into a surgical technology program starting in the fall, but it will take 2 semesters of time away from my biomed degree to finish. My financial situation is becoming a problem and I'm ready to get a degree, but at the same time I want to be good at what I do and I know the surgical technology program would be very educational for me. There are no job openings here that I am qualified for or that would count as patient contact hours. I have been told to do the surg. tech. program after I finish my biomed degree, but I could go make 10x the money then, and it would be hard to pass that up for a year of training for a $14/hour job!!! Does anyone have any suggestions? Any job recommendations to get the experience hours? How did everyone else build these hours up? Thanks for your help!

If you don't get a spot, consider taking an EMT course and volunteering/working on an ambulance. THe hours are flexible, the training is cheap, you can work a full-time job, and you can polish your resume. I wouldn't take time away from your degree to do a medical technology program! Just my 2 cents. L.
 

Le_Donald

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Go to med school. All PA's end up desiring this eventually (I can say this because I was/am a PA now in medical school). You'll thank yourself in the end, and you wont have to take gross anatomy twice! (ugh!)
 
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chadsurgtech

chadsurgtech

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Thanks for all your input. I think I will complete the surgical technology program and once I can see the different career choices I have, I will decide whether to go the PA or DO route. Thanks again.
 

hospPA

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Le_Donald said:
Go to med school. All PA's end up desiring this eventually (I can say this because I was/am a PA now in medical school). You'll thank yourself in the end, and you wont have to take gross anatomy twice! (ugh!)
Some do, but certainly not ALL. I have no desire for this at all. I do everything the docs I work with do except sign death certificates! I don't make as much as they do but also don't work the hours they do or have the headaches they do. Not worth it to me.
I do agree that if you are thinking that being a doc may be what you want, just do it and don't go to PA school.

Pat
 

jwk

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Here's another option. Check out Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) programs. 27 month program, ideal for science majors, doesn't require clinical experience, graduate with a Master's Degree at the end and have excellent career opportunities.
 
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chadsurgtech

chadsurgtech

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jwk said:
Here's another option. Check out Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) programs. 27 month program, ideal for science majors, doesn't require clinical experience, graduate with a Master's Degree at the end and have excellent career opportunities.
Anesthesiologist Assistant??? I've never heard of that title before. How are the job possibilities with that? How does it differ from a nurse anesthetist?
 

jwk

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chadsurgtech said:
Anesthesiologist Assistant??? I've never heard of that title before. How are the job possibilities with that? How does it differ from a nurse anesthetist?
AA is to an anesthesiologist as PA is to any other physician. AA's perform anesthesia in the OR on a daily basis. We have a similar scope of practice to CRNA's, and in the same practice, we would have identical job descriptions and compensation packages.

The career outlook is excellent. There is a shortage of anesthesia providers in most parts of the country. AA's are practicing mainly in Georgia and Ohio (where the three current schools are located) but we have graduates practicing in Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Vermont, New Mexico, DC, Missouri, and several other states.

Let me know if you'd like more info and I'll be glad to PM you.
 
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chadsurgtech

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Thats sounds like a really cool field. I had thought about doing CRNA school at one time, but don't really want to do BSN program. So it's kind of like a nurse anesthetist position for people without nursing degrees! That sounds great. I see there are only about 3 schools that offer the program currently. Well, maybe by the time I am ready to apply, if that is what I decide to do, there may be more. Thanks, I appreciate the info. I need to get into the operating room and find out what it is I want to do for sure.
 

rn29306

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jwk said:
Here's another option. Check out Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) programs. 27 month program, ideal for science majors, doesn't require clinical experience, graduate with a Master's Degree at the end and have excellent career opportunities.


Damnit jwk, you should be on the AAAA's recruitment pension program. Jee thanks for stealing someone away from the CRNA ranks.

lol


BTW, did you stay out of the recent action in ATL??

rn29306
 

rn29306

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chadsurgtech said:
Thats sounds like a really cool field. I had thought about doing CRNA school at one time, but don't really want to do BSN program. So it's kind of like a nurse anesthetist position for people without nursing degrees!

Perhaps you should be an AA. No offense to any current BSN'ers out there, but BSN is cake compared to CRNA school. I choked through BSN without vomiting too much on the BS shoved down our throats, but being a SRNA is balls to the wall. And don't think AA school is a walk through the tulips either. You'll bust your arse in both of them.

Neither school is lax, just be sure of what you want before you commit.
 

sunnyjohn

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hey Chadsurgtech,

It might be a good idea for you to figure out what your ultimate goal is before you do anything.

Folks here have mentioned some excellent careers. AA's and CRNA's are great, but they require a time commitment.

Do you want to become a DO or PA and are just looking for a meaningful way to get clinical hours and experience? Then you might want to look at EMT or Phlebotomy. You can train for both over the summer, not interrupt your current studies, and be making a few bucks in a part-time (or even full time if you are up to it) job by the end of the summer.

Surgical tech will give you clinical hours, but it will take you away from your current studies. I am a surgical technologist and although the program was very easy, it did eat up alot of time. The clinical hours prevented me from taking many other classes.

I am also a phlebotomist. I was able to finish a phlebotomy program and get certification over a summer (2 months). I like moving from patient room to patient room. I still work as a phlebotomist from time-to time. I did become a scrub tech because phlebotomy is rather boring when you become proficient.. "Red top or purple top?"....

FYI, phlebotomist pay is worse than scrub techs.

If they consider them clinical hours, phlebotomy might fill your requirement for clinical hours. Ask PA the schools you are considering. And the shorter commitment won't take you away from finishing your degree and going to PA or DO school.

Being an AA or CRNA is great, but they are a time commitment all on there own! If you go that route, although I have no doubt that you would enjoy it, they could take you quite some way off your chosen path



Yep, I'm back to pursuing my pre-med dreams . :p
 

emedpa

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FYI- many pa programs will not accept phlebotomy as clinical hours. not a lot of clinical relevance: put your arm here. good, little stick, now hold this guaze.next!
emt or medical assistant is the way to go as a minimum entry level profession before pa. paramedic, rn, or resp therapist would be even better.
 

jwk

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rn29306 said:
Damnit jwk, you should be on the AAAA's recruitment pension program. Jee thanks for stealing someone away from the CRNA ranks.

lol


BTW, did you stay out of the recent action in ATL??

rn29306
I was safely 25 miles north of downtown, although the apartement where they caught the guy was about 6 miles from me. Thanks for asking.
 
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chadsurgtech

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I spoke with a PA advisor yesterday and the clinical experience hours were explained. She explained that the hours were basically considered any kind of work you have done that involves patient contact, including phlebotomy. You are ranked 1-10 according to number of experience hours and how much patient contact those experience hours provided. She said many of the applicants to the PA program have been working in the field for several years, including nurses, etc. So the competition is stiff! I spoke with two advisors and they both highly suggested doing the surgical technology program, even though it will cost me a semester or two of time. I was looking for a shortcut, but I guess there really isn't a shortcut. I think there is a big difference between entering a job out of school, and entering a job out of school in which you know what you are doing. Hopefully I will be able to gain enough experience and education from this program to decide what I want to do (PA, DO, etc.) and hopefully help me with future classes and education.
 

sunnyjohn

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That scrub tech program will cost you 2-3 semesters, but it might be worth it. I'm a traveller, so I have LOR's from some "famous" surgeons all over the country.

I love scrubbing. It's what made me decide to go back to pre-med...

good fortune
AGAPE
--------
 

Jengirl18

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You can get into PA school with volunteer medical experience alone....I did. It just depends on the program. My program, which will start in August-Barry Univ.) has an emphasis on helping the underserved; therefore, my unpaid patient contact hours (which included assisting and retracting during minor surgeries) impressed them. Again, it all depends on the school and if your personality/interests fit them as much as the school fits you. Good luck!

P.S. I do understand that it is often hard to find a clinic like mine that allows a person (non-certified) to help in the manner that I did, but if you are committed to volunteering and learning, many volunteer docs would love to teach you new skills. I would have never learned as much as I did, had I decided to go the phlebotomy route. But, still, some schools look at a paid job (no matter how limited the skills) as better experience. Go figure!