How will you be part of the team? Lessons from the first PAs on a UK hospital service
Lessons from the first PAs on a UK hospital service
Keywords:Physician Assistant, Physician Associate, Health Workforce, United Kingdom
The Physician Associate (PA) profession is relatively new to the British National Health Service. PAs have been educated in the United Kingdom since the mid-2000’s, but only recently have universities begun training large numbers of PAs. More than 70% of all UK PAs work in hospitals, but there is little published literature about the experiences of these PAs. This brief report is a sub-study of a larger grounded theory study on the barriers and facilitators to the integration of PAs into the NHS . PAs who had been the first PA on a secondary care service in the NHS were recruited. The PAs in this study were asked what advice they would share with those who are initiating the PA role on a specific hospital service. PAs advised their colleagues to: 1) Be able to explain the Physician associate role succinctly and clearly, 2) Manage expectations for the PA role, 3) Be honest and trustworthy. Know the limits of your knowledge and training, 4) Take initiative in all areas of your professional life, 5) Be a good team member, 6) Be patient and have perseverance, and 7) Get involved to solve administrative issues. This study has limited generalizability as a qualitative study, but the themes raised by these PAs may help newly graduated PAs achieve a successful transition. These data may also guide PA educators around the world as they prepare their students to enter hospital practice.
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