PA student with a question for nurses

  1. Hello!
    I am a PA student at Arcadia University (Beaver College) in Pennsylvannia. I am researching what types of opinions nurses have of PAs and their profession. For example: do nurses get along with PAs? Do we work together as a team well? Do you think that we are competent practitioners? Are you or any other type of practitioners threatened by us? Do you have any suggestions to improve our profession or relationships with nurses? Or anything else you have an opinion about!
    Thank you to anyone who replys! I am really looking forward to hearing your views! (good and bad so tell me anything you feel)
    Thank you!
  2. Visit jmarcopolo3 profile page

    About jmarcopolo3

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 2
    PA Student


  3. by   P_RN
    I've had a few experiences with PAs. One I could remember refused to come see a patient that *I* thought needed CCU. I got the house director in on it and the attending came to see her. Terrible experience as the patient expired while the doctor was looking at the chart. PA *said* he never got the call......hmmmm funny thing I had witnesses and someone on the other phone too. Doc said "too bad." BAD EXPERIENCE.

    Another PA I knew was just wonderful. She worked with the ortho docs in a private practice for a preceptor and she also did drug studies. She would do all the preop teaching, she would come to see the patients in the hospital twice a day. She would come when the patient was to be transferred to a rehab facility and help with the adjustment. On her drug studies she came in early am and drew her own labs and any that we needed also.

    I think rather than focus on the title, you need to focus on the attitude. A good attitude will get you very far in life. You may be more educated, older, more experienced but I guarantee you that you can always learn from the folks you come across.
    PA #1 asserted his 'superiority' and blew it.
    PA #2 will be remembered long after those patients and nurses no longer see her.

    Good fortune in PA school and let us know how you make out.
  4. by   aimeee
    I guess I feel about PA's the same way I feel about MD's. That is that some are very competent and professional, some are less so, and some are downright jerks. I have to agree that it is the attitude that makes the difference. Usually I'm happy to find that the Dr. has a PA in the office because they are often a bit more accessible than the MD and they are often more willing to listen and to discuss the patient's case instead of just spitting out an order. And, BTW, one of my friends just happens to be a PA.

    Advice for maintaining good relationships with nurses? Good manners and respect for our clinical judgment goes a long way.
  5. by   nursedora
    I work with PA's in several capacities. And have mostly admiration for you all.

    In one capacity, as an EMT. Also, the PA's that are EMT's as I am, have to take the same refresher courses as do I, so we are on that level, the same. However the outside experiences brought in are helpful.

    In another, we are fourtunate to have a PA on our rescue squad, and as Medical Control. He is Als/AEMTD, so we have all kinds of resources to pool from while in the field.

    As a nurse, when I worked in the hospital, I worked many nights under a PA. In small rural settings a PA is sometimes all we have.

    As a patient in my Drs. office, I've been seen more times than not by a PA.

    I feel PA's are just as capable as the Dr. It all boils down to individuals. There are Drs, Nurses, Pa's, EMT's, the list goes on, who shouldn't be in the fields, there are some who do great and are an asset to the field.
  6. by   Zee_RN
    I agree with Aimee. There are good PAs and useless PAs. Only problem is that in our hospital, PA's orders must be co-signed by MD before we can implement them so it is an added step--we have to call the physician and have him/her give verbal order to implement the order.

    A PA with a good attitude is well accepted by RNs. A PA who is poorly responsive or condescending is not. Same thing goes for the docs.
  7. by   jmarcopolo3
    Thank you so much for all your responses! I have been so frustrated b/c I couldn't find any material on the topic, but your personal experiences and opinions are so much more helpful! I am sure that I will not have a problem working with any of the other health care professionals, b/c I really believe in the "team" aspect of the medical profession.
    If anyone still has an opinion they'd like to share I am still here ready to listen!
  8. by   BeachNurse
    Hi, direct supervisor is a PA. She is great!! I get along very well with her and have great respect for her. Although she is my "boss", she also treats me with respect and always backs me where necessary. I feel lucky to work her. Other PA's I have known (taken care of me or my family members) have been mostly wonderful people to deal with..they take the time to listen and seem to be more down-to-earth than the majority of MD's.