ACEP’s Sample PA Job Description
The American College of Emergency Physicians in Dallas has recommendations for how physician assistants’ duties should be divided. These recommendations were adopted from the University Health Associates of West Virginia University in Morgantown. They are as follows:
- 25% of their time: PAs perform a directed history and physical examination of patient, review patient records, make an assessment, and present data to supervising physician.
Also, PAs determine whether the patients’ conditions require immediate attention from the supervising physicians, execute standing orders, identify normal and abnormal findings in history and physical exams, order laboratory and X-ray studies, write prescriptions as permitted by the state, and after consultation with physicians may refer patients to specialists.
- 15% of their time: PAs instruct and counsel patient or guardian about matters pertaining to patient’s physical and mental health, including diet, social habits, medications, and nature of injury or illness and follow-up.
- 15% of their time: PAs may perform routine diagnostic procedures, including:
nasogastric intubation and gastric lavage;
collection and preparation of specimens;
peak expiratory flow measurements;
slit lamp examinations;
- 25% of their time: PAs may perform routine therapeutic procedures such as:
injections and immunizations;
debridement, irrigation, suturing, routine care of superficial wounds;
treatment of 1st and 2nd degree burns;
removal of superficial foreign bodies (skin, soft tissue, cornea);
incision and drainage of abscesses, wound irrigation and packing, evacuation of hematomas, nail removal for infections;
control of external hemorrhage;
application of dressing and bandage;
subcutaneous local and regional anesthesia;
anterior nasal packing for epistaxis;
splinting of sprains and fractures;
aseptic and isolation techniques.
- 10% of their time: PAs may initiate appropriate evaluation and emergency management for emergency situations, such as cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, injuries, burns, and hemorrhage.
Also they may institute lifesaving measures such as passing an endotracheal airway, external cardiac massage, injection of IV medications, defibrillation, cardioversion, and establishing emergency vascular access on the direct order of the supervising physician.
- 5% of their time: PAs should maintain courteous, cooperative relations with patients, family members, physicians, nursing, and ancillary personnel.
- 5% of their time: PAs perform other duties, including the following:
assisting staff in preparation of conferences;
assisting staff in clinical research and quality audits;
maintaining certification/registration at national and state levels;
attending AAPA/AMA-approved CME programs;
maintaining CME hours for re-certification (40 hours CME Category 1 and 60 hours CME Category 2) every two-year period;
maintaining a working knowledge of ED policies and procedures;
actively participating in all departmental quality assessment activities.