Celebrating PA Practice
Saturday was National PA Day and PA Week runs Oct. 6-12th
. This week is important for us students to educate our friends, family and communities on why in the world we disappear for 2 years and then come out of our education with amazing jobs and opportunities waiting for us.
At Jefferson, we kicked off the celebration on Friday, Oct. 5. The first-year class practiced blood pressure taking skills and history taking and went to various venues like the free clinic to screen patients. For us second years, PA Day looked a lot like sleeping in and then taking an exam, but ending the day at a celebratory dinner where our local mayor presented a proclamation about PA Day. We as the "old" class presented a donation to a local nonprofit, The Rescue Mission, after a full year of diligent fundraising.
During the little presentation at our celebration, my professor gave a few words about PAs. And it hit me: The PA profession is really unprecedented. In 1967, there were four PAs. Today there are more than 85,000. In 1965, there was one PA program; now there are more than 170. I'm 23 and I've known about PAs since I was 16. I remember telling people in 2005 and 2006 about my plan to become a PA. Not as many people had seen PAs or knew about PAs as right now. I still often say, "I'm a lot like a nurse practitioner" when people are trying to grasp my scope of practice, which further emphasizes that we as PAs are dedicated to team work.
PAs are making a huge difference in healthcare as we keep it more affordable, quell the dire need for medical providers, and impact preventive medicine.
The PA profession isn't perfect and we've got our issues and problems, but I can't argue with a profession whose academy mission statement says, "We commit to the highest standards and seek to eliminate disparities and barriers to quality healthcare."
Thank a PA this week!