User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

61° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.


[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news


Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Need For Physician Assistants Grows

March 4, 2014, 6:15 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Need For Physician Assistants Grows

When you schedule a doctor's appointment, chances are you've been asked if it's ok you see a physician assistant or nurse practitioner instead. These medical workers are helping fill a nationwide doctor shortage.

Physician assistant students at the University of South Dakota are learning how to diagnose and treat medical conditions. The students already have a bachelor's degree and have completed the recommended science courses. Many also have experience in the healthcare field.

"After doing ultrasound for ten years, I wanted to find ways to advance my career and I wanted to find a career that would give me a good balance of work and home life," student Jessica Failla said.

Failla is one of 25 students in her class. The program is 24 months long.

"You really have to study. A typical school day is normally 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Then I go home and study for probably another four hours every night," Failla said.

While the program is intense, USD has expanded its class size from 20 students to 25 to meet a growing need.

"There's a significant number of programs that have expanded and a significant number of new programs around the country, as well," USD Physician Assistant Studies Program Chair Wade Nilson said.

Nilson says the need for physician assistants will continue to grow because of an aging population and aging medical provider workforce, along with the Affordable Care Act.

"Which opens up the door to millions of Americans who otherwise hadn't had access to insurance in the past," Nilson said.

After graduating, physician assistants are able to do about 85 percent of what doctors do.

"Essentially physician assistants are doing the same kinds of things - diagnosing, treating, prescribing medications or interpreting lab tests," Nilson said.

Nilson says once this group of students are finished with the program, they should have no problem finding a job.

While physician assistants do work similar to a doctor, they do work under the supervision of physicians. They also can't perform surgeries by themselves.

Previous Story

Next Story




View healthbeat

You may also like

General Mills Recalling 1.8M Cheerios Boxes On Allergy Risk

10/5/2015 4:40 PM

General Mills is recalling 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at a plant in Lodi, California, saying the cereal is labeled ...

Full Story
Bringing Medical Care To The Home

10/6/2015 6:11 PM

After spending weeks in the VA hospital the road to recovery is now a bit easier.

Full Story | Watch
The Importance Of Annual Screenings For Men

10/5/2015 6:13 PM

One of the biggest health mistakes many men make is not regularly going to the doctor for screenings.

Full Story | Watch
A Pre-Hunting Workout

10/8/2015 12:35 PM

One of the ways you can protect yourself is to get into shape before hitting the field.

Full Story
Breast Cancer Survivor Benefits From Pilates

10/7/2015 6:19 PM

There are many benefits when it comes to pilates including elongating your muscles and increasing flexibility, as well as building up your core streng...

Full Story | Watch