October is known for two memorable events: One can seem a little life-threatening at times while the other is most assuredly life-affirming. Of course, we’re talking about Halloween and Physician Assistant Week!
PA Week, which runs from October 6 to 12, is a special time when we at Interim Physicians join with patients, healthcare facilities, nurses, and doctors, and honor the dedicated, professional physician assistants who serve patients in every type of facility across the country.
Putting Patients First
Physician assistants are fully licensed clinicians who practice under the supervision of a physician and serve in virtually every specialty. They put patients first by providing holistic, personalized care and listening with compassion and understanding. In doing so, PAs help communities flourish by ensuring that patients are physically and mentally healthy.
Judging by some recent stats, PAs are making a significant impact on medicine. An estimated 93% of patients see PAs as trusted healthcare providers while 91% say they improve the quality of healthcare. With over 514 million patient interactions each year and nearly 160,000 practitioners currently in service, physician assistants are one of the most popular provider types in 2022. That popularity will grow as projections indicate a 31% increase in the number of PAs by 2030. If these projections hold true, the number of PAs will eclipse 200,000 in a few short years.
PAs Go Beyond
While the medical community knows how vital PAs are to quality patient care, those outside the community may not. That’s why for PA Week 2022, the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) created the theme, “PAs Go Beyond.”
By posting on social media with the hashtag #PAsGoBeyond, physician assistants have a spotlight where they can share stories about times when they went the extra mile to help a patient, co-worker, or organization. Family, friends, and colleagues of PAs are also encouraged to participate.
Caring for the Providers
Like all medical providers of the Covid era, PAs have been asked to do more than “go above and beyond” these past few years. They’ve contributed significant time and supreme effort into caring for patients in desperate need. As a result, burnout has become a major challenge for PAs. Thankfully, experts are beginning to find solutions for the burnout epidemic.
AMA’s STEPS Forward program offers three overlying solutions physician assistants can take to combat extreme fatigue and stress:
- Eliminate unnecessary tasks
- Streamline and optimize routine work processes
- Talk to leadership teams about implementing these ideas and more
To get the full details on these solutions, read the complete AMA article.
All of us at Interim Physicians hope physician assistants thrive in all aspects of their life and careers, and we’d like to express our gratitude for all you do to support patients and their communities day in and day out.
Happy Physician Assistants Week!