Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Enjoying Life

I have to post this today as I am leaving for a long 4-day weekend in Florida tomorrow.
I love the freedom this job brings me. Being able to work only 3-4 days a week with 12 hour days and then being able to jet away on a mini-vacation for 4 days in a week without taking time off...this is living the dream to me.

In January of this year, myself and my boyfriend went on a cruise down to the Southern Caribbean for a week (St. Lucia and St. John are amazing). And now we are headed to Florida to visit with my parents and some family for R&R this weekend. Having the freedom, time, and money to travel and enjoy life is the reason you work so hard in PA school and why you take a job that is best for you and what you want out of life. Being able to travel is top of my list and I am so happy that this career path is so accommodating to that.

Ok - well off to work then to the airport bright and early tomorrow!
See you later!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

New Life

Hi all - it has been soon long since I have posted. Once you get into the working world you find you have a lot less time trying to find a way to stall doing studying while on the computer so that is the likely reason I am just getting around to finally posting a new entry.

So here is the long and the short of it - working in a hospital as an inpatient hospitalist PA was very rewarding. I learned a lot about myself and medicine and I learned about the urgency and medical management of many different diagnoses both chronic and acute.  To fill you in, my boyfriend graduated with his doctorate just about the time I started this job.  About 5 months in, after he had passed his licensing boards and such, he got offered an amazing opportunity about 2 1/2 hours away from where we were currently living. Based on his job market versus my very versatile and in demand job market  - I agreed the best course of action would be for him to take the job and I would find something new down in this area.
I was very lucky to get 3 interviews scheduled all in 1 day when I would be visiting the new area in hopes that I would find a position prior to moving down but with no expectations.  I interviewed at a spinal surgeons private practice, a hospitalist position in pediatrics, and also at an urgent care center. I was offered the job at the urgent care center the same day that I interviewed which was wonderful as it was also the job I was most interested in and excited about.
I have been living down in this area full time since August 2014 and have been working in urgent care medicine since that time and I have been loving every minute of it! I don't think I realized how exhausted I was with the day to day operations of a hospitalist position until I took this new job. No longer am I at home at night finishing up notes or logging onto the hospital's network from my home to follow up on labs or imaging studies that weren't back by the time I was leaving for the day. I find it a lot easier to separate work and personal life now that I am working at this outpatient urgent care center. I work 12 hours shifts 3-4 days a week which gives me a lot more time off to enjoy life - especially since my boyfriend also does 12 hours shifts so we have more days off together.
I didn't realize until I started my old job how much I missed doing the procedures and hands on stuff I did as a student until I started this job. I am so happy with sutures or an I&D (incision and drainage) comes into the office. Small procedures like this keep the energy up throughout the day as you never know what you are going to get.
Also at this center I am the solo practitioner for the day which is daunting but a good challenge at the same time. you learn a lot, not only practice wise but confidence wise by doing this. I have greatly enjoyed this new chapter of my life. My hope is to start back up with at least weekly updates again from now on - so stay tuned for the next post sometime in the next couple of days describing some interesting patients I have seen lately!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Workin' Gal

4 months and 2 days after graduation...the day I finally started my job as a hospitalist physician assistant!  Mark that on the calendar as the day I finally have accomplished my dream of becoming a PA in a hospital setting! :)

Yesterday was my first day of work which consisted of new hire orientation.  Quite a boring day as you sit through lectures on quality control, hospital policies and services offered for patients.  Even though it is not the most exciting day, I was just happy to be there and get going finally after sitting around for awhile waiting on licenses and such since graduation and passing the PANCE.  First thing was first, I received my ID badge that says "Hospitalist Physician Assistant" on it as well as a large "PA" so that I can be easily identified in case of emergency.  It's so crazy to see my picture on that ID badge :) 
Today included going to a lot of meetings with department heads so they could meet me face-to-face and know what I, as a new practitioner at the hospital, will need of them and their services.  It is great to have such a warm welcome when I am a new graduate. I feel as though I am so important to these department heads and its just a surreal feeling knowing that I do hold an important role in the healthcare services at this hospital.  SO happy to know that all this schooling and dedication was worth it.  
Tomorrow starts my first day on the floor and getting used to the computer system (Meditech) I will use to document and order.  Luckily I have a mentor PA who has been assigned to me whose name is Eric.  He will be my go-to person while I am settling into my new position with the hospitalist team.  I will be shadowing/working with him the first few weeks of my training and then I will be given a small patient case load.  Once I am feeling confident (in probably a couple months) I will start getting a full patient case load as a PA on the service would have.  
I'll let you know how it goes over this first week!

Saturday, March 29, 2014


So things are finally just about done on my end before the job can finally start!  I have received all of my state licenses and only 1 more national one to go then I am good to start work!  I am scheduled to begin a next week and I could not be more excited.  Only so much watching TV, going to the gym, reading a book, and relaxing that I can do.  I am ready to finally apply my skills I have learned over the past 2 years and get out of the house and earn so much needed money.
Other than that I have been acting as an adjunct faculty member for my school's 1st year students.  It has been great to help them out in lab and to help with the interview process.  I even was able to proctor the students' simulated patient lab experience which was an amazing opportunity to hone my skills and pass down what I have learned.  I have greatly enjoyed the experience and can not wait to continue helping the next group of students foster knowledge from my program.
Next time I talk to you I will be a working gal! yay!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Still waiting..

I feel like the process of getting licensed will never end.  It looks as though my start date for my job will be pushed back to the middle of March since the state takes a VERY VERY long time to hand out licenses to those who have had prior health care experience/licenses before.  Not much more to update on other than this quick rant.
Please ask some questions about PA school to cure my boredom waiting for these licenses lol

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Thank you all so much!  I have reached 15,000 views on this blog and I am so excited that it is just the beginning.
I have tried to find new avenues to get more readership so I can continue to do this and write about my new career as a Physician Assistant.

So I went to my new job on Tuesday to fill out forms and sign tons of paperwork.  This job is not requiring me to sign a contract with a competition clause or anything of that nature so I was very happy to see that.  I also did a "photo shoot" while there.  I walked around in my long white coat and took pictures throughout the facility for my soon to be business cards.  I am excited.  Seems official!  Now I just have to wait for all my licensers to come through and I will be good to go and start working.
I am definitely getting anxious to get started since I am pretty much doing nothing of importance lately.  Been watching TV, getting excited for the Olympics to be on to watch that (since I love the winter much better than summer).  I am headed out to go skiing on this weekend, will be my second time ever up on skis (besides waterskiing which I love to do).  The huge amount of snow we got yesterday should make for some great skiing :)

Ok, so that's about all new with me.  Please feel free to comment with questions since I have a lot of time on my hands to answer :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Steps to Take After Graduation from PA School

One thing I wanted to talk about today is the steps of getting licensed and credentialed after you graduate from PA school.  A lot of people think once you graduate, the hard part is over.  This is half-right and half-wrong.  There are many steps to take after you gradate and i am here to break it down for you (as best as I can and to the best of my knowledge).  Be aware - the total process costs upwards of $2,000 to practice (on top of your tuition)!

1. PANCE Exam - you are able to sign up for your PANCE starting 90 days prior to your graduation.  My school handed out forms to expedite the process and verify our info on their side, a few days later we received an e-mail from the NCCPA saying we were able to create and account and contact a PearsonVUE testing center (where you will take the PANCE) to set up a date and time you want to sit to take the exam.  There are dates and times basically every day of the week and you can take it at either 8am or 1pm.  I think 8am was the best idea - less time to freak out and try to cram the morning of!
Cost: $475

2. State Licensure - After you receive your online confirmation that you have passed your PANCE, you may send out an application to your state government requesting to receive a state licensure.  Be aware - this application requires many steps including: getting a passport photo taken to attach to application, notarized form, copies of transcripts from all undergrad and graduate schools attended, if you hold other national licenses for other careers - must include a copy, and possibly more depending on your state's requirements.
Cost: varies by state.  State of MA - $225

3. DEA Licensure - After receiving a state licensure, you may apply for a DEA license.  This allows you to prescribe medications.  You may not apply for this licensure until you have a state license number.
Cost: $731 (good for 3 years)

4. NPI Number - this is your national provider ID.  It is a unique identifier that is necessary for Medicare services.
Cost: Free (I still have yet to apply for this but do not see a cost associated on the application)

5. State Control Substances Licensure: allows you access to prescribe scheduled medications according to your state mid-level practitioner laws.   Most allow anything from schedule II-IV (anything that your supervising doctor can prescribe, you may as well) with a few exceptions (example - methadone, suboxone, etc.)
Cost: varies by state.  State of MA - $150

Then, on top of all of those things, you are applying for jobs and filling out the associated applications.  Once a job offer is accepted, you then fill out all of the paperwork to begin the hiring process (including a CORI form, background check form, application, signing of paperwork, benefit paperwork, etc.)

So basically, I just wanted to forewarn everyone that not only is there a large expense to get certified and licensed as PA after graduating, but there is a good 3 month time lapse between graduation and when you will be fully ready to work. Be prepared for some time off with no income.  I have been filling my days with trying Pinterest recipes, household chores/cleaning, visiting my family and friends, getting good use out of my new TiVo, and enjoying quiet nights at home.

Let me know if you have any questions! :)