A day in the life of a Physician Associate

Posted by: Mark - Posted on:

7:10 – Alarm rings…

7:15 – Turn the extra alarm off which I set for 7:30 (just in case I manage to miss my 7:10 alarm, can never be too careful).

8:20 – Set off for work. Try and avoid the traffic that is on the M62 (not surprisingly there is always some traffic every day).

9:00 – Start morning surgery. Check diary and tasks for the day. Start the day with E-consults that have been assigned for me to read. All the consultations have been triaged by a GP and ANP. They know which conditions I am currently confident seeing (as I am newly qualified!).

The E-consults can vary between admin tasks and medical advice. I usually ring the patients to ask more questions if I need to and then create a management plan which the patient is happy with.

After the E-consults, I do the care home reviews. Every day there is a different assigned care/nursing home where I phone and ask if there are any concerns, or if there is any way I can help.

After these reviews I have a few face-to-face consultations booked or phone calls to do.

The face to face consultations are usually patients with an acute problem that need to be assessed face to face with an examination. They have already spoken to a clinician who has booked them to be seen face to face with myself. I take a history, perform a relevant examination if needed and create a management plan. I can take bloods and record observations if need to.

12:00 – I have a debrief session at the end of the morning. I speak to a GP about any concerns and prescription requests. Everyone is lovely and help with any questions I have.

12:30- Lunch time! I manage to eat my lunch whilst checking my emails. I also check my tasks for the day. The tasks are usually for me to contact patients for updates to see if treatments are working or to send in photos for updates on skin conditions.

13:30 – Afternoon surgery begins. These are face-to-face appointments who have already been spoken to by a clinician or myself. As I am newly qualified, I have more time for my consultations. This allows me to take a thorough history, and if I need to do a referral then I have enough time to do this. Covid times mean we have to wear an apron, mask and gloves. These need to be removed after each patient. Surfaces need to be sanitized.

As a Physician Associate I can’t sign prescriptions at the moment. I have to send them to the GP to sign which can delay getting the prescription. I thank patients for being patient with this.

16:45 – Finish the afternoon surgery (sometimes it does run over). I have a debrief session at the end of the day where I speak to a GP. I make sure all the tasks have been done that were due today. I check that I have done all the referrals and tick my diary to make sure I have done everything for that day (I like keeping a to-do list to keep my organisational skills in check). After all the tasks have been completed, I tidy my work area and clean the equipment.

17:00 – This is the time I finish and go home. Most time I finish after 5pm but I don’t mind as when I finish late then the traffic seems to be less than usual. Luckily there seems to be dinner always made when I get home!

It is rewarding at the end of the day knowing I have helped patients. At the moment due to Covid it can be difficult, however, each day is different and that’s what makes the day in the life of a Physician Associate motivating and interesting.