Physician Assistants

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About the Job

Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.

It is also Called

  • Surgical Physician Assistant
  • Surgical First Assistant
  • Surgery Technician (Surgery Tech)
  • Surgeon Assistant
  • Physician's Assistant
  • Physician Extender
  • Physician Assistant Certified (PAC)
  • Pediatric Physician Assistant
  • Orthopaedic Physician Assistant
  • Midlevel Provider

What They Do

  • Order medical and laboratory supplies and equipment.
  • Supervise and coordinate activities of technicians and technical assistants.
  • Perform therapeutic procedures, such as injections, immunizations, suturing and wound care, and infection management.
  • Provide physicians with assistance during surgery or complicated medical procedures.
  • Visit and observe patients on hospital rounds or house calls, updating charts, ordering therapy, and reporting back to physician.
  • Instruct and counsel patients about prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, family planning, emotional problems of daily living, and health maintenance.
  • Obtain, compile and record patient medical data, including health history, progress notes and results of physical examination.
  • Interpret diagnostic test results for deviations from normal.
  • Administer or order diagnostic tests, such as x-ray, electrocardiogram, and laboratory tests.
  • Prescribe therapy or medication with physician approval.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: ISR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Social and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Working Conditions and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $106,330 with most people making between $79,180 and $143,010

Outlook

2.86%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 1,050 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 1,300 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 30 openings due to growth and about 20 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.