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The Cardiovascular Physician Assistant serves as the eyes and ears of the patient’s regular Cardiovascular Physician. While the Physician is in charge of diagnosing the patient and prescribing treatment — for illnesses related to the heart in the case of a Cardiovascular Physician — the Physician Assistant performs checkups, collects X-ray and other tests results, and may assist the Physician during surgery.
Though it’s an assistant position, Cardiovascular Physician Assistants must meet strict requirements before landing a job. NCCPA certification is required, and you’ll need a license to practice medicine issued by the state.
Strict requirements do serve a purpose in the field of medicine. You independently see patients and advise them on the next step of their treatment plan, as well as performing routine checkups. Most Physician Assistants are not, however, allowed to prescribe medication.
Cardiovascular Physician Assistants can work in a Doctor ’s office, an intensive care unit (ICU), or the surgery center of a hospital. In the Doctor’s office, you question patients about their current condition and review their medical history. In the ICU, you monitor patients’ conditions, and work with advanced equipment such as ventilators as needed. Choosing to work in a surgery center puts you in charge of assisting a Physician with incisions, equipment insertion, and placement of arterial catheters or chest tubes during surgery.
Your work goes beyond stethoscopes and test results, however. You offer emotional support and guidance to patients struggling to overcome heart disease. That spark of hope is the best medicine available.