Career Exploration Program


Trauma Surgery PA

Being a physician assistant varies depending on the field of the physician; however, most of the major responsibilities and requirements remain relatively the same.

Since P.A.s hold their own license, they are not covered under the physician’s license, this allows some flexibility with employment options.

Overall, a P.A. prevents, maintains, and treats illnesses and injuries using a broad spectrum of healthcare knowledge as overseen by a physician.

A trauma surgeon’s P.A. usually treats patients who come in through the Emergency Room, or who have been established in the ICU or IMCU.


Physician assistants begin the day reviewing patient’s charts with their supervising physician and the physician on the previous shift.

Together they plan out any further treatments, labs, and medications, and who is ready for discharge.

After rounds, when the P.A. checks in with each patient, they follow-up with labs and other orders that are arranged throughout the day.

Being a P.A. for a trauma surgeon, they can be called into the operating room at any time to assist on a surgery.

This involves patient care in the emergency room, operating room, ICU, and outpatient clinic.

P.A.s here at Salem Health have more autonomy than nurses, but the physicians review and sign off on orders for labs and prescriptions to ensure an open line of communication between all heath care professionals involved.


Along with closely interacting with not only their supervising physician, but other physicians as well, P.A.s will often be updated on the status of patients from registered nurses.

They interact with many RN’s throughout the hospital and must be well aware of the changing condition of their patients, thus establishing a comfortable and friendly relationship with the RN’s is very helpful. P.A.s may essentially work with anyone in the hospital depending on the patient but most interactions center around health care service providers in the Emergency department, ICU, IMCU, and occasionally the CVCU.


Must be a graduate of an accredited PA educational program that is authorized by the state to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician.

The typical PA has a bachelor’s degree and approximately 26 months of postgraduate instruction and 4 or more years of health care experience.