It’s quite possible that there has never been a better time to be a physician assistant.
The profession has never received more respect. It’s a growing area of health care. And, the need for physician assistants is expected to grow by a whopping 30 percent between now and 2024, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.
All of these good vibes have led many physician assistants to look for new opportunities, more money and better benefits.
But, it’s not always easy to start a new job as a physician assistant. Every organization has its own culture, values and idiosyncrasies. The sooner you can figure them out, the sooner you’ll be able to successfully navigate your new job and make a positive impact in the lives of your patients as well as your organization.
Here’s a look at three tips designed to help every physician assistants navigate new jobs:
Even though physician assistants have never been more well-respected or visible, you can’t assume that all of your new colleagues and patients will understand–or respect–your role with the organization.
Many patients unsure about physician assistants. Some of your new colleagues might feel like you’ve been hired to replace them, which you know isn’t true–but, insecurities can be difficult to overcome.
That’s why it’s important to educate your colleagues and patients on the role of the physician assistant. It’s quite possible that people will be surprised by the wide range of things you are able to do. Rather than have your role create tension or turf wars, be prepared to share factual information.
The American Academy of Physician Assistants website is chock full of resources that can help you educate your colleagues.
Physicians have been caring for patients for hundreds of years. Physicians assistants have only been around for about 50 years. For this reason, you are going to want to spend some time promoting yourself as well as the profession.
Many patients aren’t aware of the benefits of working with a physician assistant to stay health. Many might not even know you exist. Introduce yourself to patients by sending a letter. Attend promotional events outside of the practice. Get to know your patients on a personal level. Share your story, your hobbies and your previous experience with them.
That’s how you build trust, a solid patient base and the practice.
Promote yourself and you’ll quickly become invaluable to the organization.
The physician assistants who are best able to navigate new jobs are those who quickly understand that collaboration is the key to their success. After all, no physician assistant is an island–all physician assistants work closely with doctors, nurses and the office staff to care for patients.
So fight the urge to try to quickly prove yourself all by yourself. Make sure you take the time to get to know your new colleagues, learn how they like to work and be patient as you get to know them both personally and professionally. Once you have built trust, you’ll be better prepared to deliver exceptional care to your patients.
And speaking of patients, one of the quickest ways to earn their trust is to have the physicians with whom you’ll be working with introduce you to them.
Collaborating on your introduction–as well as the care you provide–can go a long way toward helping you be accepted by your new patients more quickly than you otherwise might be.
There has never been a better time for you. Use these tips to make the most of it!
Would you like to learn more about open physician assistant careers at Elliot Health System? If so, click below.
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