Readiness to Enter Clinical Practice: Perception of New Physician Assistants
AAPA ePoster library. Guinane S. 05/17/17; 180525; 167
Sean Guinane
Sean Guinane
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Abstract
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Purpose: Similar to a physician's scope of practice, physician assistants must be prepared as professionals in application, communication, and behavioral domains. While studies indicate new physicians and nurses who enter clinical practice report mixed perceptions of preparedness, this has not been examined in physician assistants. The purpose of this study was to describe new PAs' perception of readiness to enter clinical practice and identify relationships between perception and selected personal and program characteristics. Methods: To understand new PAs' perception of readiness to enter clinical practice, a quantitative descriptive study was conducted using the Preparation for Hospital Practice Questionnaire, to include examination of relationships in eight areas of practice to age at graduation, sex, previous health care work experience, length of physician assistant education, and amount of problem-based learning (PBL) in the curriculum. Areas of practice included interpersonal skills, confidence and coping, collaboration, patient management, understanding science, prevention, holistic care, and self-directed learning. Results: Almost 1,300 new PAs were included. Across all subscales, median scores ranged from 4.50 to 5.17 on a six-point scale. Fewer than 2% felt unprepared in prevention and self-directed learning; only about 5% felt unprepared in most other areas, except interpersonal skills, where 14.1% of respondents reported perception of inadequate readiness. PAs perceived less preparedness in their interpersonal skills, specifically managing difficult situations. Overall, new PAs who were 28 years old or younger at graduation or who trained regularly using PBL felt more prepared than new PAs who were 29 years old or older or who did not regularly use PBL. In general, previous health care work experience and length of PA curriculum did not change perception of readiness. Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest new physician assistants believe they are prepared to enter clinical practice, and their perception of readiness is greater than other new health professionals, although it is not known why this perception exists. Despite the clinical focus of physician assistant training, physician assistants reported being least adequately prepared in complicated interpersonal skills. Between groups, most differences were found when comparing new PAs who were 28 years old or younger at graduation and new PAs who were 29 years...
Purpose: Similar to a physician's scope of practice, physician assistants must be prepared as professionals in application, communication, and behavioral domains. While studies indicate new physicians and nurses who enter clinical practice report mixed perceptions of preparedness, this has not been examined in physician assistants. The purpose of this study was to describe new PAs' perception of readiness to enter clinical practice and identify relationships between perception and selected personal and program characteristics. Methods: To understand new PAs' perception of readiness to enter clinical practice, a quantitative descriptive study was conducted using the Preparation for Hospital Practice Questionnaire, to include examination of relationships in eight areas of practice to age at graduation, sex, previous health care work experience, length of physician assistant education, and amount of problem-based learning (PBL) in the curriculum. Areas of practice included interpersonal skills, confidence and coping, collaboration, patient management, understanding science, prevention, holistic care, and self-directed learning. Results: Almost 1,300 new PAs were included. Across all subscales, median scores ranged from 4.50 to 5.17 on a six-point scale. Fewer than 2% felt unprepared in prevention and self-directed learning; only about 5% felt unprepared in most other areas, except interpersonal skills, where 14.1% of respondents reported perception of inadequate readiness. PAs perceived less preparedness in their interpersonal skills, specifically managing difficult situations. Overall, new PAs who were 28 years old or younger at graduation or who trained regularly using PBL felt more prepared than new PAs who were 29 years old or older or who did not regularly use PBL. In general, previous health care work experience and length of PA curriculum did not change perception of readiness. Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest new physician assistants believe they are prepared to enter clinical practice, and their perception of readiness is greater than other new health professionals, although it is not known why this perception exists. Despite the clinical focus of physician assistant training, physician assistants reported being least adequately prepared in complicated interpersonal skills. Between groups, most differences were found when comparing new PAs who were 28 years old or younger at graduation and new PAs who were 29 years...
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