Whats Your Next – Physician Assistant Program

My name is Alex Franke. I’m a physician
assistant student here at West Liberty University and today I just want to show
you what it’s like to live a day as a PA student. So we’re gonna go in our
physical diagnosis skills lab. Today we’re working with the pediatric
population so we had some volunteer kids come up so we can practice doing
physical exam on them. Julie hi my name is Alex, we met before right?
I’m a PA student so we’re just going to practice doing the physical exam today
it’s that okay with you? We have a skills lab which has multiple clinical
diagnosis skill stations or exam rooms so we have a few exam rooms where
they’re actually set up you knock on the door go in and can do almost a real-life
patient encounter with one of your classmates or any volunteer that you
were examining. They all have the otoscopes and fundascopes and blood
pressure cuffs and I mean the sink the table the whole nine it’s just like
walking into the doctor’s office. I was very interested in medicine and I knew
that so it came down to between medical school and PA school and after a lot of
thought I decided that being a physician assistant better suited my lifestyle
than being a physician was because I like to be involved in a ton of
different things I like to be really hands-on and it just gives you a lot of
freedom the flexibility between what field you’re working in and also how
your schedule set up Today we’re gonna go into our clinical
skills lab our clinical skills class and we’re gonna work on our suturing
techniques. What we’re gonna do first is practice just getting the needle in at
the 90 degrees and bringing it out through the subcutaneous tissue so the
foam on the board is simulating subcutaneous tissue. So our cohort is
relatively small compared to other PA programs and because we have such a
small class comparatively you get more one-on-one instruction with each of the
providers and all of our faculty have gone through PA school or medical
school and they know how to apply the skills we’re learning here out in the
field and it’s just nice to be able to approach them and ask them questions and
we also get a more complete learning experience I feel like because I can go
a little more in-depth and make sure that you have really honed in and are
100% competent that skill before moving on so you’re not just getting an
overview of the PA education you’re getting some of its really hands-on and
in-depth So today our PA student society we do a
monthly potluck where everyone brings some kind of dish and we all just kind
of sit around and hang out and share It’s a two-year program so the first
half is twelve months and it’s we call the didactic phase so it’s all in
classroom work you’re sitting through lectures and getting experience in our
labs as far as practicing your clinical skills and your physical diagnosis
skills and then the second year of the program you’re out in the field so
either in hospitals around the area or wherever the rotations are set up and
that’s just what we called our clinical year clinical rotations you’ll do
five-week rotations with different preceptor and learn these specific
diseases diagnosis treatments and skills that are done in each area. Today we’re
doing our clinical skills lab where we’re learning how to cast each other
and put splints on. I have my nice pink camo cast and I’ll be getting it
taken off soon. We’re going to try to use
something to give us a little bit of control So our program is extremely affordable
compared to others in the region especially myself being in state it
really helps having a lower cost because when you come out physician assistants
do make nice salaries but you’re still gonna have student loans you have to pay
off for a while so the lower cost really allows you to pay off those student
loans a little bit quicker and get to have making actual money quicker as well So the final exam you have to take
before your certified physician assistant is called the PANCE exam and
it is a cumulative exam of all the information that you’ve learned and get
a lot of clinicals and vignette type stories that you have to diagnose the patient or
treat the patient and the pass rates at West Liberty are extremely high I know
that last year’s class did all pass on the first try which is amazing and every
year continually we just keep getting better and better at that and I feel
very prepared just now at this point From the knowledge I’ve gained so
far I feel like I’m retaining it and I feel like if I continue to study and be
presented good material the way I am I’ll be fine whenever it comes to taking
my certifying exam Hopefully this gave you a good look at what it’s like inside
the PA program. For more information you can check us out online

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