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Thread: I cant decide on which Medical field of study

  1. #11
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    In many states Nurse Practitioners actually have a broader scope of practice with more autonomy than PA's. But as stated above it takes longer for schooling if you are not already a nurse. Starting this year or next many programs are going to a PhD as entry level so figure 4 years plus RN school which would be 4 years for a BSN.

    In my hospital most of the NP's work in Medicine units whereas many of the PA's work in Surgery services, mainly because of how they were trained (PA's generally follow the medical model).

    Another thing to consider is a therapist career such as Physical or Occupational therapist. If you like the "ER rush" respiratory therapy is also something to look into.

    I find radiology interesting and am considering that as my new career when the kids are out of college and I get tired of my NP job.

    Basic math, chemistry and biology as a start will serve you whatever you end of doing so I would suggest starting there with school and doing some job shadowing.

    Good luck.
    b

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpw View Post
    In many states Nurse Practitioners actually have a broader scope of practice with more autonomy than PA's. But as stated above it takes longer for schooling if you are not already a nurse. Starting this year or next many programs are going to a PhD as entry level so figure 4 years plus RN school which would be 4 years for a BSN.

    In my hospital most of the NP's work in Medicine units whereas many of the PA's work in Surgery services, mainly because of how they were trained (PA's generally follow the medical model).

    Another thing to consider is a therapist career such as Physical or Occupational therapist. If you like the "ER rush" respiratory therapy is also something to look into.

    I find radiology interesting and am considering that as my new career when the kids are out of college and I get tired of my NP job.

    Basic math, chemistry and biology as a start will serve you whatever you end of doing so I would suggest starting there with school and doing some job shadowing.

    Good luck.
    b
    I have heard this about the NP here in NY. I already have all the classes you mentioned out of the way. I have to go get books today and I'm going to pick out the 2+2 program stuff from school to see whats the best choice. I like the idea of less school with the PA route. I heard the PhD is going to take effect for NP here in NY in 5 years.

    Thanks alot
    "After I shot myself, my training took over and I called my parents..." Texas Grebner

    "Take me with a grain of salt, my sarcasm does not relate well over the internet"

    Jonathan Morehouse

  3. #13
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    It might be helpful to look up the scope of practice allowed by the states where you might want to live. I don't know about New York specifically. In many states, including this one, NP's scope of practice is determined by statute, PA's scope of practice is generally determined by their supervising physician.

  4. #14
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    I was a paramedic for years, including flight, and I was a corpsman, and am in my 8th year of being a RN. If you 'think' you want to do advanced practice, make that your goal and start working for it. RN is great, very portable, allows for active lifestyle, blah, blah, blah...but you 'cap out' pretty quickly.

    I work at Duke and we have a metric crap-ton of mid-levels, PAs (what with Duke having had started the PA field and all) and NPs. In fact, the NPs run critical care in some of the ICUs. The pay here for mid-levels is pretty low as there are a million running around (supply and demand), but there a bunch of jobs. In our ED, the PAs do 'real' medicine, the NPs are urgent care-type of practitioners.

    I liked being a medic and a flight medic, and a corpsman, for trauma, and get a lot of it in the ED. If I tire of it, I can always go to another unit. That portability of nursing again.

    You have a ton of options, none of them bad. Best of luck.

  5. #15
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    Another important thing to consider is that PA education is an average of 27 straight months and pricey. Its structured similar to a medical school model, not a graduate school model. The first 12-15 months is 30+ hours/week of classroom/lab time and the second year is 40-50 hours/week doing rotations and continuity clinics. Surgery/ER/inpatient rotations are even more hours/week.

    I mention this as almost all schools strongly discourage working. I've had students with radiology or respiratory therapy backgrounds who managed to squeeze in a few on-call shifts per month to bring in extra money and they could get some sleep or do a bit of studying. I now have a PA student who is a pediatric ICU RN who tried to do the same but it has not been a good idea--obviously no time to study or rest.

    What is the duration of VA benefits nowadays? In my day, "benefit extensions" were intermittently available beyond the standard 4 years. I was able to get great Vietnam-era benefits by volunteering delayed-entry in 1976. In 1977 the benefit structure changed significantly--for the worse. I hope the current VA system is more generous now and covers you through grad school.

  6. #16
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    I am NOT in the medical field but I have a personal friend who is training to be a PA and loves it. My opinion certainly doesn't carry nearly the weight as some of those above me, but it sounds to me like the route you should choose. Good luck.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi57 View Post
    Another important thing to consider is that PA education is an average of 27 straight months and pricey. Its structured similar to a medical school model, not a graduate school model. The first 12-15 months is 30+ hours/week of classroom/lab time and the second year is 40-50 hours/week doing rotations and continuity clinics. Surgery/ER/inpatient rotations are even more hours/week.

    I mention this as almost all schools strongly discourage working. I've had students with radiology or respiratory therapy backgrounds who managed to squeeze in a few on-call shifts per month to bring in extra money and they could get some sleep or do a bit of studying. I now have a PA student who is a pediatric ICU RN who tried to do the same but it has not been a good idea--obviously no time to study or rest.

    What is the duration of VA benefits nowadays? In my day, "benefit extensions" were intermittently available beyond the standard 4 years. I was able to get great Vietnam-era benefits by volunteering delayed-entry in 1976. In 1977 the benefit structure changed significantly--for the worse. I hope the current VA system is more generous now and covers you through grad school.
    The GI bill pays for 48 months but I'm not using it yet. I have been using VTAP through the state of NY for my under grad schooling. I'm trying to stretch it by working summers as a Union Ironworker and other programs through the state before I tap in to the GI fund. My wife is already throuh school and into her carier so that helps alot.
    "After I shot myself, my training took over and I called my parents..." Texas Grebner

    "Take me with a grain of salt, my sarcasm does not relate well over the internet"

    Jonathan Morehouse

  8. #18
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    I'd consider PA more than others.

    1. Your malpractice insurance is covered under the doctor's you work for

    2. Far more demand for your skill set so excellent job security

    3. Less time in school, no internship or residency and many PAs get their loans paid back. Many PA programs include a bachelor's/MS joint program

    4. Huge demand for PAs in the mil if you decide to go back in. A corpsman buddy of mine who became a PA after he got out, went back into the Army as an officer and is now serving with the 160th SOAR.

    5. Depending on what you like...the upside is that you get to spend lots of time with your patients...the downside is that you get to spend lots of time with your patients.

    6. As an ex-corpsman and current paramedic...I much prefer dealing with PAs when I get medical attention
    It is bad policy to fear the resentment of an enemy. -Ethan Allen

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by medicman816 View Post
    As a paramedic, I will post a reply. I will also begin by stating that I am in Pennsylvania. Things may be different in your state. The prehospital field can be interesting. Unless you are in a big city or near a major interstate, don't expect to see much trauma. I service an area of about 15,000 people, more than 50% of which are 65 or older. I can honestly say that I get a "true" trauma patient maybe four times a year. Where I am at it's mostly a taxi service, sorry to say. Salaries suck for the most part.
    In PA, a PA can function in the prehospital environment, as can an RN, CRNP, or MD. While an EMT or medic cert may get you some experience and help pay bills while you go to school, I must say that it currently is a poor career choice. If I had it to do again I would still become a medic, but I would also have busted ass to get into a PA or RN school. I would be done by now making three times what I currently make. Plus, I could still do the prehospital thing WHEN I WANTED.
    The advice about job shadowing is right on. I would bet that you could walk into your local ambulance or fire station and they would let you ride along with them for however long you wanted. Sign some papers and off you go. There are a lot of people that get into the field this way.
    Ok, this post is long enough. If you would like to know anything else about prehospital medicine, shoot me a PM.
    Medicman have you thought about getting your Paramedic to RN bridge? 1 year program if you have your EMTP. There seems to be a plentiful of Firefighter/EMTPs who go on to also get there RN through the bridge programs.

  10. #20
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    ICANHITHIMMAN if your interested you could get your EMTB while taking your prerequisites to RN or PA school. That way you could work as an EMT Tech in an ER get your fill and also be on your way to your goal. Plus it will give you experience and familiarity with ER. You'll have way more hands on patient care hours before anybody in your classes even touches a patient. I believe EMT Techs at hospitals get paid more and are exposed to more than the ambulance scene as a basic.
    Last edited by ballsout; 09-09-11 at 00:14.

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