So You Want to Be a PA?

Welcome to my first official blog post! 

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Chances are you have some sort of interest in the wonderful field of medicine, more specifically, in the PA profession. I am so happy that you do because it is a hip-and-happening career to go into!

No matter where you are in the PA pathway: high school student who is leaning towards the health field, undergrad set on the pre-PA pathway, undergrad who doesn’t know what they want to do yet but may want to think about the PA way (this was me), or currently applying to PA school…I’m here to help!

Before I jump into my oh-so-helpful advice…I’ll give you guys a little background on my journey to PA school.

Growing up I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. I live in Wisconsin and eventually realized that the chances of that one working out were pretty slim. So I formulated a Plan B.

In elementary, middle, and high school I was super interested in biology and science courses. I had a passion for figuring out how things worked, loved the intricacy and detail that went into each organism we studied in anatomy class, and always wanted to know more about what made us tick as humans.  Naturally, I gravitated towards the idea of going into the healthcare field. Yet, I was pretty undecided of which route to go.

Fast forward as I made my way to college. Like many students, I had no flippin’ clue what the heck I was doing with my life or what I wanted to be at the ripe age of 18 (I mean let’s be real, who really does?). When I eventually decided on biology as my major, it made me feel a little more settled on a “path” I wanted my life to take, but I was still overwhelmed by the vast amount of healthcare career options out there for me!

I started to shadow multiple health professions: doctors, nurses, dentists, and PAs. The last two professions on the list struck me as the most interesting. I continued to shadow both professions through my undergrad career.

At one point, I decided I wanted to be a dentist. I signed up for the DAT exam and began planning where I wanted to apply to dental school. But like a lot of college students, I had a mid-undergrad “life crisis” and decided this was absolutely NOT what I wanted to do and dropped that idea like it was hot. Back to the drawing board I went!

After some serious soul-searching, multiple hours of following my favorite PA around, and having lots of heart-to-heart talks with my mom (she’s seriously the best)…I knew that a career as a PA was my life’s calling. So I set out on my own amazing journey to becoming a PA…and it has been the best choice I have ever made in my entire life.

Fast forward through all the craziness that comes with the PA school application process and here I am now…Jourdyn,  PA-S.

I know for me the process of applying to PA school was kind of intimidating, and I felt that there were so many questions and concerns I had! I remember how completely overwhelmed I felt at times, and those feelings were exactly my motivation for creating this blog. If I can help alleviate anyone’s apprehensions…I AM SO SO SO HAPPY TO HELP!

So that is my story in a nutshell…and how I got to writing this blog! I can’t wait to share some helpful tips and guidance with you all!

-J

P.S. If there are any certain topics you want me to talk about, concerns, or questions you may have (no matter how small or big) feel free to comment them below and I will do my best to answer them 🙂

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6 Comments

  1. connie
    February 6, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    what did you do for PC hours ?

    • February 6, 2017 / 10:23 pm

      Connie,
      I worked as a CNA to get the majority of my patient care hours. But that definitely is not the only way to go. Some of my classmates worked as scribes, medical assistants, phlebotomists, etc. If you have a particular idea of what you want to do for health care hours but are unsure if it will count or not with a certain program you want attend…I would for sure check with them! The variety of jobs/experiences that count towards patient care hours are truly endless and you can get really creative with them!
      Hopefully that helps 🙂

      • connie
        February 8, 2017 / 10:26 pm

        thanks ! i was thinking EMT 🙂 also when did you start working on your PC hours . i start college march 20th .

        • February 9, 2017 / 1:09 am

          EMT sounds like a super awesome idea! A good chunk of people in my class did that before starting and they were definitely prepared coming in school! I ended up getting my nursing assistant certification over the winter break of my sophomore year of college. I worked full-time every summer up until my senior year and then occasionally throughout the school year. I think I applied with around 1200 hours of patient care.

  2. connie
    February 10, 2017 / 1:59 am

    EMERGENCY QUESTION ! i know i bother you so much but if you don’t mind answering in undergrad did you have to take communications ? if so what is it like ? also did you have any English Lit classes that required you to present in front of the class ? if so can you name them ?tomorrow i have to decide what classes i want to take online and at school . i perfer the whole speech thing to be online . i’m a complete nervous wreck.

    • February 10, 2017 / 2:23 am

      Good question! Speaking from the program I am currently in…no you do not need a particular communications course in order to get into PA school. I completely feel you when it comes to speaking in front of people…it makes me so nervous too (It still amazes me that I got up in front of 3000 people to give my commencement speech. Yikes!)
      I did end up taking a speech and english course in undergrad, but it was only because I went to a liberal arts college which required me to take both courses. So if your school lets you take an online course for speech..all the power to you! 🙂