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  1. #1
    Jane_Med is offline Newbie 510 points
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    How much can PA be involved in surgery?

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    Hey guys,

    I wanted to know how much a PA can be involved into surgery? Sure I am aware of the fact that they canīt do as much as a doc does, but I guess they do more than just hand the med swab and scalpel?!
    Maybe somebody who got experience as a PA in surgery could give me some information on that.

    Bye

  2. #2
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Elite Member 11590 points
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    Yes. There are definitely PAs in surgery. They practice under the licensure of the surgeon (physician), but they can sometimes do a lot of stuff under those auspices. They are not surgeons, and they are still PAs, but they work in the operating room and they do more than most surgical techs. Talk with a nearby PA program to see if they can put you in touch with a PA who works in this specialty, and s/he can tell you more specifics/limitations. Good luck.
    "When I haven't any blue... I use red."
    Pablo Picasso

  3. #3
    Jane_Med is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thank you very much for your answer

  4. #4
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    AUCMD2006 is offline Ultimate Member 6129 points
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    they first assist, mainly retract provide exposure, cut sutures essentially all the things to speed up the process. basically you are "assisting" the surgeon. there also comes a point where a surgeon may feel more comfortable and allow you to do more. i've been in the OR where the PA did as much as a surgical tech and once with a surgeon who had worked with that PA for a while and treated him like a resident and they shared the surgical field doing one side each.

    basic question you gotta ask yourself is wether you are confortable always following someone elses lead i know me as a surgeon i want to be the one in charge
    AUCMD2006
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  5. #5
    DalhousieHPRO is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    PA's can do many things during a surgical procedure. Most of what they do is suctioning, and retracting.

  6. #6
    basupran is offline Member
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    Depends entirely on the attending...some allow only suction, etc... Others allow the PA to get into the case and operate. Truthfully, if you want to operate, go to medical school.

  7. #7
    Looking Glass is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    I am currently a PA for a neurosurgeon. Yes, I do spend time retracting and suctioning (including suctioning on the brain and spinal cord), but I also assist my surgeon in exposure. Where I really show my skills is in closing. More often than not, my surgeon will complete his part, break scrub and walk away when the spinal cord is still exposed. I am then responsible for the entire closure of the incision, etc. When we have medical students come through, he asks me to show them how to sew, the intricacies of neurosurgery, as well as make sure they know sterile procedure. It is similar to this for all 8 midlevels that work in our office. Hope this helps!

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