5 Job Settings for Physician Assistants
- Physician Offices
- Outpatient Care Centers
- Educational Services
- Governmental Agencies
Physician assistant jobs are expected to grow by 37 percent between 2016 and 2026, and there are many job settings for physician assistants to consider. This job growth will occur throughout the United States, with a majority of the job openings in metro areas. When completing the education and training for this career in healthcare, consider these top five job settings for physician assistants.
1. Physician Offices
A majority of physician assistants work in the offices of physicians. They may assist physicians with patient overflow. For example, during the influenza season, a primary care physician or internal medicine physician may have a lot of patients calling in with influenza symptoms and needing an appointment. The physician assistant may see those patients, evaluate them, perform the influenza diagnostic test and prescribe medication as needed. The physician assistants may also cover for doctors if they get called out of the office for an emergency or if they are out sick.
Another job setting where physician assistants may work is in the hospital setting. They may be employed by private, local, or state hospitals. State hospitals include mental health facilities, prison hospitals, and regional hospitals that are publicly funded. Local hospitals include emergency and trauma centers. There, the physician assistants may perform triage and care for patients who have non-life-threatening medical conditions or injuries. In private hospitals, physician assistants may help care for patients who are hospitalized on a short-term or long-term basis.
3. Outpatient Care Centers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistants may also work in outpatient care centers. This may include the walk-in clinics that are found in many pharmacies and grocery stores. They may also work in networked or independent urgent care centers. Some physician assistants work in outpatient surgical centers. Outpatient care centers for physical therapy, rehabilitation, or occupational therapy may also employ physician assistants.
4. Educational Services
Physician assistants may find employment in the educational services setting. This includes public and private local, state educational institutions. In the educational services setting, a physician assistant may work in employee health. They may provide direct patient care to students, such as at a college health clinic. Physician assistants may be in charge of setting policies related to medical care and triage at educational institutions. For example, they may write, review and approve the institution’s policy on how to handle a mass casualty situation. They may also diagnose, treat and prescribe medications for common maladies of students such as strep throat. Their duties could also include educating students on all aspects of health.
5. Governmental Agencies
Physician assistants may also work in governmental agencies. They may provide care to veterans through Veteran’s Administration hospitals and clinics. They may also work at some of the federal health research centers, including the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control. These institutions perform clinical trials that physician assistants may monitor or recruit patients into. Physician assistants also work in state or local health departments, providing vaccinations or supervising the work done by public health nurses, nutritionists and audiologists in those settings.
Each of these five job settings for physician assistants offers many opportunities for personal and professional growth. Whether the professional wants to work in a small town or a large city, there will be many job openings throughout the United States. These top five job settings for physician assistants include all medical specialties and feature flexible work hours and higher than average salaries.