The surgical PA practicing in Trauma Surgery exercises flexibility and adaptability to manage a broad range of medical and surgical conditions under the supervision of licensed Trauma Surgeon.
Because the spectrum of trauma surgery encompasses many organ systems, the trauma surgery PA must be knowledgeable about a wide range of pathophysiology as well as how the injuries sustained should be prioritized. Trauma remains the leading cause of death in the first four decades of life and is surpassed only by cancer and atherosclerosis as the major cause of death in all age groups.
Approximately 60 million injuries occur annually in the United States. Roughly one-half, or 30 million of these injuries require medical care, and 3.6 million require hospitalization. Nearly nine million of these injuries are disabling - 300,000 permanent disabilities and 8,700,000 temporary disabilities. For this reason, it is necessary that Trauma PAs have compassion for individuals involved in a trauma and are able to deal with the social issues that subsequently arise.
- PA master degree
- Post-graduate surgical residency in General Surgery or Emergency Medicine, or have at least two years of experience in either General Surgery or Emergency Medicine
General Duties & Responsibilities
- Evaluates the trauma victim and institutes immediate therapy
- Performs first assistant duties in the operating room
- Assists with post-operative management and follows the patient through the critical care portion of their recovery
- Attends to the patient closely on the hospital surgical ward
- Enables continuity of care by following up in the Trauma surgery clinic
- Makes rounds with the attending surgeon and fills her/him in on pertinent issues involving patient care
- Fields patient calls after hospital discharge or general follow-up questions
- Triages patients to the ER or trauma clinic
- Manages patients undergoing a broad range of procedures, including Orthopaedic, ENT, OMFS, Urology and Vascular
- Determines when appropriate consultation is needed and speaks with that service
Surgical Ward Duties & Responsibilities
- Orders and interprets appropriate laboratory and diagnostic studies and collates data
- Requests and follows up on recommendations of consultants (usually after discussion with the surgeon)
- Assesses fluid and electrolyte balance
- Manages and removes tubes and drains
- Formulates a differential diagnosis and confirms or refutes the options according to the physical exam and data obtained
- Identifies and prioritizes surgical, medical and psychosocial problems
- Orders and renews appropriate medications