New graduates celebrate with their families at their nursing commencement ceremony.
How to Become a Physician Assistant in Colorado - Physician Assistant Programs in Colorado
If you want to be a physician assistant, then be prepared to have an exciting career. Some people get physician assistant and medical assistant mixed up. They are two very different jobs. Medical assistants do basic things like get patient information and check vitals. Physician assistants actually kind of practice medicine with the oversight of a doctor. The physician assistant can do physical examinations, order specific tests and then interpret them, diagnose a patient's condition, and even prescribe medication to the patient. Of course, they can't do all of this alone. They have a doctor that oversees everything they do and determines if they are correct in their assessment and plan.
You might be wondering how you can become a physician assistant in Colorado. For the most part, in order to gain admittance into a physician assistant training program, you have to earn a master's degree. It is helpful to get a bachelor's degree and master's degree in either scientific or health-related fields, but not necessary as long as you have taken all of the science, math, and medical courses you need. Once you have done all of that, you can apply for admittance to a physician assistant training program, which will take an additional two years of study.
Considering the amount of training and education one has to go through in order to become a physician assistant, the salary is incredibly comparable. The average salary for physician assistants on a yearly basis is $86,000. That equals out to being $41 and some change an hour. Not too bad, especially these days. If you live in bigger cities in Colorado, you will likely make more than you would in smaller towns. The bigger pockets the hospital or doctor's office that you work for has, the more you will make also. But, even if you earn a salary on the lower end of the spectrum, you will still likely get at least $70,000 a year. That's still not bad.
Because of the responsibilities a physician assistant has, there are some qualities that you must possess. For one thing, you should be able to think critically. You need to be able to look at the patient's symptoms or test results and know what the problem is. You also need to be able to work well under intense pressure – especially in a hospital setting. No matter where you work, you will see a lot of patients on a daily basis and you will need to keep your energy the entire time to give them all the best care possible.
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Colorado Board of Nursing
1560 Broadway, Suite 880
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: (303) 894-2430
Fax: (303) 894-2821
Colorado Nurses Association