Working as a PA

Attending the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Conference 2016

In recent years I have made every effort to attend the AAPA’s annual conference.  However, I spent my early years as a fledgling PA wondering what the conference was like and if it was worth the hassle of travel and added expenses.  I encountered very few PAs who stressed the importance of attending the conference, therefore, I assumed it should not be high on my priority list.  I was wrong.  A few years ago I attended my first AAPA conference and immediately craved more of the camaraderie felt during such an amazing gathering.  This year it was held in San Antonio, TX at an beautiful conference center with phenomenal keynote speakers, PA Kevin Lacz and Terry Stone.  Here is a recap of my week at the conference!

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What Is a Typical Day Like in the PICU?

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05:30: My alarm goes off which is the absolute worst sound in the world.

07:00: I receive checkout from the pediatric resident or PA/NP who covered overnight, discussing how each patient did, changes made, and any new admissions.

07:00-0900: I “pre-round” which entails examining all of my patients, assessing their clinical status, looking at newly resulted lab values, reviewing imaging studies, and deciding on a treatment plan for the day.

09:00-13:00:  Bedside multidisciplinary rounds occur with the attending, PA/NP, nurse, respiratory therapist, dietitian, pharmacist, and consulting services if available.  Bedside rounds consists of the PA, NP, or resident presenting their patient in an organized fashion, discussing them by systems, and stating their plan for the day.

13:00: Lunch

14:00-19:00: I spend the rest of the afternoon continually checking on my patients, reevaluating my treatment plan, ordering additional labs or imaging studies if needed, transferring patients, admitting new patients, dictating, and having fun with coworkers.  The ICU can actually be a pretty fun environment to work in.

19:00: I sign out all important information about my patients to the night resident or PA/NP then head home!  HOORAY!