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This job description is set forth to guide physician assistants interested in orthopaedics and hired by an Orthopaedic Surgeon. It is only a guideline in which to adapt the physician assistant practice in orthopaedics under the direction of an Orthopedic surgeon, as directed by the state laws in which the physician assistant practices.

Physician assistants are licensed health care professionals trained in the same format, as are physicians. There training is roughly two-thirds the length of medical school with 108 weeks of general primary care education. The average physician assistant has a bachelor’s degree and four and a half years of health care experience prior to entering a PA program. A job description for Physician assistants in orthopaedics includes but is not limit to:

  1. Performing comprehensive and problem focused history and physical exams, interpret and correlate laboratory and diagnostic procedures. Interpret and correlate subjective and objective data to formulate a differential diagnose and establish a working diagnosis. Formulate a treatment plan for Orthopaedic problems within scope of practice. Implement therapeutic intervention for specific conditions when appropriate. Exercise judgment on problems requiring consultation, referral, or evaluation by the supervising Orthopedic surgeon or other health care professionals.    
  2. Order, collect, and perform appropriate laboratory or diagnostic procedures, and studies including but not limited to blood and tissue specimens. Ordering or performing diagnostic studies such as but not limited to EMG, electrocardiogram, compartment pressure measurements, and x-ray examinations including special x-ray examinations CT, MRI, and bone scans etc.
  3. Performing procedures such as but not limited to, digital blocks, regional anesthesia, and minor outpatient surgical procedures such as but not limited to: tendon repair, wound closure, wound management, wound debridement, incision and drainage, needle biopsy, percutaneous pinning of fractures, k-wire removal and hardware removal.    
  4. Perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including but not limited to joint and bursa aspirations, closed reduction of fractures and dislocations, injections of joints, tendons, trigger points and bursa, as well as brace, cast and splint applications.    
  5. Assist in surgery to include but not limited to first assist, deep and superficial tissue closures, application of appliances and any other action delegated by the surgeon. Conduct hospital, rounds, write orders, and take call for the Orthopaedic surgeon. Evaluate and clarify clinical conditions, formulate and implement a treatment or therapeutic plan for hospitalized patients, dictate discharge summaries, histories and physicals.
  6. Order, prescribe, dispense, and administer Medication, orthosis, orthotics, braces and other Orthopaedic devices as may be allowed by state legislation.
  7. Evaluate, screen and council patient on health maintenance and promote utilization of community resources. Design, conduct and/or participate in research studies, manage databases, and perform quality assurance.