To recognize this year’s National Physician Assistant (PA) Day, The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) is pleased to share the exciting news that this clinical role is now a part of our interprofessional team. PA will complement the work of our interprofessional teams to further enhance efficiency, patient safety and quality of care for the Scarborough community.
Five of the eight PAs arrived in November, and will be supporting the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) and General Internal Medicine (GIM) program. The other three PAs will arrive in January, and support the hospital’s Nephrology program.
“This is an exciting time for TSH,” says Dr. Tom Chan, Chief of Medical Staff at TSH. “We are continuing to expand our teams so that we can further enhance care and truly ensure patients are receiving the right care by the right person at the right time.”
PAs work under the direct supervision of a physician and will support TSH’s physicians in their scope of practice. They are expected to provide additional benefits for our patients and families; for instance, in the reduction of wait times in the ED.
The PAs are delighted with the opportunity to work in such a diverse and dynamic health care environment and hope their contribution to the team will add to the outstanding care already provided at TSH.
“What’s really interesting about working at The Scarborough Hospital is the exceptional care that is provided to a diverse population’s unique needs with respect, collaboration and accountability, as well as the commitment to patient and family-centred care,” says Danielle Lucky, Physician Assistant, ED. “We enjoy educating people about our role and look forward to supporting this community. We welcome any and all questions.”
Jacob Eappen, Physician Assistant, GIM, adds, “And that includes patients. We want everyone to know what we do and how we’re best able to support our colleagues, our patients and our community.”
Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- taking medical histories;
- conducting physical exams;
- ordering and interpreting tests;
- diagnosing and treating illnesses;
- counselling on preventative care;
- participating in education, research and administration; and,
- they may also participate in surgeries, depending on their level of training.
PAs have have been in Canada for decades – mainly in the Canadian Armed Forces. In 2002, they were integrated into the Manitoba health care system and since then, they have become progressively more popular in acute care hospitals where evidence shows they help to improve access to services and enhance overall quality of care. There are more than 400 PAs currently practicing in Canada including in Manitoba, Alberta and New Brunswick. In Ontario, some of our peer hospitals such as Markham-Stouffville, Toronto East General and Southlake have also integrated PAs to expand their interprofessional teams.
TSH would also like to thank the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for providing a significant portion of the overall compensation, which made it possible for TSH to begin integrating PAs to our teams.
“We are fortunate to receive this opportunity to expand our interprofessional teams,” says Rhonda Seidman-Carlson, Vice President, Interprofessional Practice and Chief Nursing Executive, TSH. “Just like Nurse Practitioners, Anaesthetist Assistants, Midwives, Doulas and other roles have added value to our teams over the years, we are confident PAs will continue to boost the quality of care we provide to our patients.”