PA’s at Target…..What’s a PA?

One thing I love about working at Target is the culture of recognition. It feels wonderful to be recognized for the great things you do for our guests, team, and business. This month that recognition is especially exciting for me as it celebrates my profession, physician assistant. To help spread the word about the profession I asked one of my team members, Jill, to share some additional information on both.

Lexie:  What is a physician assistant?

 Jill: A Physician Assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a doctor. A PA is a graduate of an accredited PA educational program who is nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician. At Target, PAs work in our retail medical clinics located in select Target stores providing healthcare to our guests for everything from minor illnesses and vaccines to biometric screenings and sport physicals.

L:  How are PAs educated and trained?

J: A PAs education is modeled on the medical school curriculum, a combination of classroom and clinical instruction. The PA course of study is rigorous and intense.  Applicants to PA programs must complete a bachelor’s degree with a course load similar to the premedical studies required of medical students.  Once a PA student, there are many hours of classroom and laboratory studies. PA students also complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in various practice settings which include family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry.

Practicing PAs participate in lifelong learning. In order to maintain national certification, a PA must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years. A PA must also take a re-certification examination similar to the way a physician would.

 L: What can PAs do?

J: PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals.  At Target Clinic, PAs provided high quality medical care to our guests and team members.

 

Now let’s take time to recognize!

I would like to recognize all of my PA colleagues for all of the hard work and dedication you exemplify to the healthcare profession and for Target Clinic. Research shows that patients are just as satisfied with PA-provided care as they are with physician care and I think that is AMAZING! Keep up the hard work and thank you for all you do to keep our guests and team healthy!

Interested in a career with Target Clinic? Click here to learn more. 

  • Nichole Bateman

    November 5th, 2013

    Hi there – as a PA with more than 20 years of experience, seeing the expansion of our role is exciting. Your article is energetic, positive and a delight to see. That said, please don’t underestimate the small things that detract from your post. First, the “‘s” went away 30 years ago. I cringe every time I see it in a publication, especially when used by a PA!! Amend every single item in print that has that misnomer present.

    Second, anytime you have any healthcare professional represented in a picture, PLEASE oh PLEASE make sure they are not doing a corny staged photo, especially one that depicts that person incorrectly performing a medical task. The woman in the photo – I presume a PA (who knows if that’s the RMA, PA, RA) is doing a BP measurement through two layers of clothing – it makes that person look incompetent. I know that’s not your intention, but to any medical professional who knows better, that’s what they’ll think! Change it – for the representation of all PAs who practice good medicine, change it!

    Reply
  • elisa

    elisa

    November 5th, 2013

    Hi Nichole-

    Thanks for your feedback. We strive to provide a team member blog that is both authentic and meaningful to our readers. We will take your recommendations into consideration for the future.

    Elisa and the Target Careers team

  • Kevin

    November 15th, 2013

    Nichole,

    The “s” you are referring to that makes all
    PA-Cs cringe comes after Physcian(Physician’s Assistant) no where in the blog is that present. When saying PAs they are referring in the plural form, meaning they are referring to more than one/ all PAs. This is proper grammar.

    I agree the picture is a little corny. I believe it was meant to be light hearted and shouldn’t be taken so seriously. I have been a practicing
    PA-C for 13 years and I thought the desricpiton of what a PA does and their education was spot on and a good representation for all PAs.

    Kevin A, PA-C

    Reply
  • Kate

    December 4th, 2013

    Do you know if Target is going to start hiring Physician Assistants outside of MN? Currently it looks like they are only hired at the Minnesota clinics. Will this change anytime soon?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • elisa

    elisa

    December 4th, 2013

    Hi Kate-

    At the time being, we only hire Physician Assistants in Minnesota due to state laws. Our other Target Clinic locations mainly hire Family Nurse Practitioners.

    Thanks!
    Elisa & the Target Careers team

  • Kate

    December 5th, 2013

    Thanks Elisa. Do you see this changing anytime in the near future?

    Reply
  • elisa

    elisa

    December 5th, 2013

    Hi Kate-

    Since this is due to state laws and regulations and not Target policy, unfortunately we don’t have the ability to influence change in that area. Thanks for checking!

    Elisa

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