Right after college I would like to start my masters on a physician assistant program. I am having trouble finding places in Tampa, Florida, US in which I could obtain patient hours without having to get a certificate (Can’t do it due to lack of money). I was hoping that perhaps one of you knew about any place I could get these required hours. I hope that someday in the future I am able to do some of these volunteering abroad programs since I enjoy traveling and at the same time I could be doing something that will help other people.
Thank you for your time,
My name is Klaus and I am a first year PA student at Northeastern University. I actually attended the University of Tampa for undergrad and stayed there to work an extra year before beginning PA school. I am unsure of where you are at in your schooling, but I would highly recommend finding the time to get a certificate (i.e. EMT/CNA) to get hands-on patient care experience. There are jobs that will on-the-job train, but are difficult to find and normally require some networking or prior experience. For that direction, I recommend contacting your PCP and/or others you know in the field of medicine for any opportunities. This also another great way to shadow providers, which I also HIGHLY recommend as it solidifies if this is the profession you truly want to embark on.
I know it is difficult to find the funds and time to do so, but to my experience, direct patient care work is the most important factor in your success through PA school and will be formative to your work as a clinician. A certificate will make it easier for you to find a job that will fulfill this requirement for PA school and make you much more comfortable when you begin your direct patient care. I remember being in your shoes, but just think of it as an investment.
I worked as an on-the-job trained medical assistant for my university’s health center. I had been working there as a front-office assistant for a couple years prior and eventually gained their trust to do more patient care. I was a rather unique case. Many of my classmates were EMTs/CNAs for years. I admire the work they did and often wish I had a lot of their experiences because of how well it prepared them for our curriculum.
I hope this helped!