What Is the Function of a Physician Assistant?

You see them in many different types of doctor’s offices. They perform a wide variety of tasks and functions. With extensive schooling and years of experience in their respective fields, you might sometimes see them instead of your actual doctor. To whom are we referring? A physician assistant! Read on to learn more about the role a physician assistant (PA) plays in getting you back to a fully functioning life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of a healthcare team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and X-rays, and make diagnoses. They often assist surgeons in the operating room as well.

PAs work directly with physicians to coordinate a patient’s care and are not to be confused with medical assistants, who most often perform everyday clerical and clinical duties. PAs are licensed healthcare professionals who are able to take care of minor injuries by suturing, casting, and splinting. They are qualified to counsel patients, order or carry out therapy, and can sometimes prescribe medications.

In an orthopedist’s office, you might see a physician assistant for your initial appointment, for postoperative care, or continuing therapy. If you need to get into your doctor’s office quickly, they can often see you sooner than the doctor can.

If you have questions regarding physician assistants or are in need of orthopedic care, call the specialists at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics today to make your appointment. You can reach them by calling (559) 256-5200.