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Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Thoughts

          I felt like my last entry was a Debbie Downer, so I thought I would write another entry.  About a month ago I was told by my boss who is also a PA that in order to help prepare me for the job I should go to a meeting near the hospital.  This meeting was for patients of the Orthopaedic practice I will soon working for.  Basically, the meeting was 2 hours and explained everything about knee surgery.  The presentation was run by a Nurse Practitioner and a Physical Therapist. Together these two women did a wonderful job in explaining everything from pre-admission testing to post-operation expectations.  Each future patient and their families were handed a packet with the presentation as well as other information.  I found the presentation to be informative but not too complicated that it would overwhelm a patient.  I even learned a few things myself.  In this presentation the NP passed around a model knee and explained the anatomy and how the surgery would be done.  She then passed around the artificial joint and explained the materials that were used to construct it.  The Physical Therapist went into detail on the exact stretches and exercises that would be used to get the knee fully functioning.  At the end patients were able to ask questions.  I should also mention that many of these patients had already signed up for surgery, but there were also people in the audience who were on the fence.  In the latter group of people I found that they were really appreciative of the presentation and the information that was given.  I am not sure whether they decided to have surgery or not but the point of the presentation was not to force anyone into making a decision.  Instead, it was focused on making people as informed as possible on knee replacement. The good and the bad. Nothing was sugar coated.

      As I left the presentation, I could not help but to feel happy.  I am so excited to work with a group of individuals who care so much about their patients. It means a lot to a patient when someone takes the time to explain.  Patient education is essential and really is not utilized as much as it should.  I have found that patient compliance tends to increase when you educate them.  Having surgery is a scary thought to anyone.  Alleviating even a fraction if that can make a huge difference in perspective.  It may not take 2 hours like this presentation did to help alleviate the burden, in the office it may take 5 minutes. However, those 5 or so minute are precious and should be used effectively.  To any PAs out there, NPs, MDs, DOs etc, I hope that you take time to educate and put your patients first.  That is the way I like to practice and I am so glad that my employers feel the same.

Waiting to Start Work

Hello Everyone!

       I know I have not written in a while but I have found I am at a loss of words. I am still waiting to start my position in Orthopaedics!! So, I don't have any amazing stories to tell, but, I do have some more advice that I thought I would share.  This advice is more for new graduates or soon to be PA school graduates.  Here it is... The state of Pennsylvania takes FOREVER to process paperwork.  I am currently waiting for my supervising agreement, this is an agreement that is made with your supervising physician denoting your responsibilities in your job. Thus, what you can and cannot do in your position. It is signed by your supervising physician, other physicians in the practice and you.  This paperwork takes a minimum of 60-90 days in the state of Pennsylvania. I am mentioning this because I did not know this prior to applying in Pennsylvania. It seems that all my classmates working in PA have had the same problem.  You cannot work as a PA in the state of Pennsylvania without this agreement being processed.  Some of my classmates have just been observing while others are just waiting like myself, it depends where you work.  Unfortunately, my hospital will not allow me to just observe without this agreement being passed.  Again, this seems to be just a problem in Pennsylvania. One person in my class sent her paperwork in for licensing and her supervising agreement to Maine and it was processed in 24 hours.  New Jersey takes a while to get a license, however, it seems once you get that nothing else takes long.  It is a very frustrating and confusing process. There is nothing worse than going through the hardship of PA school, passing your boards, getting a license in your state and then not be able to work.  I know this sounds really depressing but if there is anyone out there reading this who is in my same position, please keep your head up.  While having all this time is great it can get a little boring when you do the same things every day. I have taken trips to see family, read some journal articles to keep up with CMEs (continued medical education) etc to keep busy. It could be worse, I could still be looking for a job, so I do consider myself fortunate.  I really hope this entry helps someone, if I would have known this then I think I would have prepared differently but I am doing well under the circumstances. All the best to my readers!