New graduates celebrate with their families at their nursing commencement ceremony.
How to Become a Physician Assistant in South Carolina and Physician Assistant Programs in South Carolina
Physician assistants are not to be confused with medical assistants. While a medical assistant performs routine clinical and clerical tasks, a physician assistant is able to provide a much higher level of care. Physician assistants will often see patients for routine medical exams or minor problems. The assistant is able to diagnose and treat a wide range of problems. Physician assistants can even prescribe certain medications to their patients. The main difference between a physician assistant and a medical doctor is that assistants are supervised by a practicing physician or surgeon and have a masters degree instead of a doctorate.
If you're interested in learning about how to become a physician assistant in South Carolina and physician assistant programs in South Carolina, you should be prepared for a lengthy course of study. Most physician assistants begin with a bachelor's degree or associate of applied science degree in another healthcare field. They may work as nurses, EMTs, paramedics, medical technicians, or technologists. After four or five years of on the job experience in a health care field, you can pursue a master's degree. Depending on your prior level of education, you may need to complete a bachelor's degree first. Most master's programs can be completed in two years.
There is one program in South Carolina that's appropriate for a physician assistant. The Medical University of South Carolina offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies. There are 90 semester hours of prerequisites that are required for admission to this program. These are typically obtained in prior health care programs as discussed above. The physician assistant program itself contains an additional 108 hours of instruction. This includes 15 months of didactic instruction and 45 weeks of clinical instruction. Didactic credits can be completed in two summer semesters, one fall semester, and one spring semester, followed by the clinical study.
There are lots of great opportunities for physician assistants in the United States. The need is especially pronounced in inner city settings and rural areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job opportunities in this field will increase by 30 percent between 2010 and 2020. Physician assistants can even choose to pursue further education and become a practicing physician. In the state of South Carolina, the annual mean wage for physician assistants is $81,900, or about $39.37 an hour. If you enjoy helping others and have a passion for the health care field, this is a great job to pursue.
Find Local or Online
South Carolina State Board of Nursing
110 Centerview Drive
Columbia, SC 29210
Phone: (803) 896-4550
Fax: (803) 896-4525
South Carolina Nurses Association