Physician Assistants & Advance Practice Registered Nurses
Physician Assistants (PAs) and Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are licensed health care professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision and collaboration at Gastroenterology Center of Connecticut. They deliver a broad range of medical services which include taking medical histories, performing physical examinations, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting laboratory tests, performing minor procedures and prescribing medications. PAs and APRNs can practice in virtually every medical specialty – from family medicine to surgery.
A Physician Assistant must undergo rigorous education to become a PA. The first year includes classroom and laboratory instruction and the second year involves structured clinical rotations, providing direct patient care in clinics, hospitals, private practice and nursing homes. Today, the typical PA student already has over four years of health care experience prior to entering the PA program.
An APRN is a Registered Nurse with a Master’s degree and advanced clinical training in health care. APRNs work with people of all ages and their families, providing information needed to make informed decisions about health care and lifestyle choices. In addition to providing direct patient care, many APRNs are actively involved in education, research and legislative activities to promote quality health care.
PA and APRN programs must meet stringent requirements for national accreditation. Graduates of accredited midlevel programs must pass a national certification exam as well as a State exam before they are allowed to practice. They must also participate in continuing medical education activities and meet recertification requirements.
The midlevel/physician team is an efficient way for doctors to extend their medical care to their patients. Midlevels are educated to recognize when patients need the attention of a physician or other specialist. With the use of PAs and APRNs, high quality, cost-effective health care is more available to patient.