This week is National Physician Assistant Week. Physician Assistants – or PAs – are indispensable members of the healthcare community. If you see a PA this week, be sure to thank him or her and show your appreciation for the hard work that they do!
What is Physician Assistant Week?
PA Week celebrates Physician Assistants and their incredible contributions to healthcare! PAs have been improving patient outcomes for nearly half a century. The PA profession began in 1967 with the first graduating class from Duke’s PA program. Today, there are over 108,000 PAs employed in the United States who help improve the health of hundreds of millions of Americans.
What is a PA?
The PA profession is as valuable as it is misunderstood. The idea that a PA is an assistant to a physician is a common misconception. Physician Assistants are nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals. They are licensed to practice medicine, treat illnesses, assist in surgeries, and prescribe medications. PAs work together with physicians in every medical specialty to establish the best possible healthcare for a patient.
PAs must have a graduate degree along with at least 2,000 hours of clinic rotations after a year of classroom study. Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted 2010, PAs have been recognized as one of the three primary care providers (Nurse Practitioners, Physicians, and Physician Assistants).
Facts about PAs
Here are a few facts and statistics from the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
- Studies show that PAs reduce hospital readmission rates, length of stay, and infection rates among patients.
- 93% of Americans who interact with PAs consider them trusted healthcare providers.
- Studies show that healthcare teams that include PAs provide high quality healthcare and improve patient outcomes.
- PAs are one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. Demand for PAs has increased by more than 300% over the past 3 years.
We have several great PAs within the MANA network. Be sure to show your appreciation for your PA this week, and let them know that they are doing a great job!