Unique position of a physician assistant

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October 12, 2013, 7:40 am
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(NECN/NBC News) - If you've been to the hospital or doctor recently, you've likely met a physician's assistant.

Under the guidance of a doctor, PA’s can conduct exams, write prescriptions, counsel patients and even perform minor procedures.

The profession is booming, and as one Atlanta PA can attest, the job is much more than medical care.

"The beauty in what I do and being a hospitalist PA is that I live here, I provide that continuity of care for our GI team, I meet families kind of from day 1, and follow them throughout x amount of years that they're here,” said PA Jodi Sendilar. "The Higgins family I met when I was actually almost just out of school when I met Lisa, Matt, and Ansley, she was a very complicated kid from a medical standpoint it wasn't always easy to take care of her because she got sick quite often."

"This is the first I think this is the first Halloween after Jodi started working with her, Jodi and I saw her after Ansley's last surgery,” said Ansley’s parent.

"Ansley came back from the operating room and we all knew that something was wrong," remembered Sendilar.

"So of course I started crying and Jodi was in the room and my husband and I of all the people in the room that were there the doctors the nurses we both looked at Jodi and we were like what do we do now," Ansley’s parent recalled.

"A piece of my heart broke but I said get in bed with her and hug her and love her right now and hold her cause that's what she needs and that's all we can do," Sendilar suggested.

"I know that if I would've focused on the medical part that whole time I wouldn't have been able to have the moments that I had with her those last couple minutes so Jodi really gave that back to me. It's a wonderful relationship."  

PA’s are trained through a rigorous two-year accreditation program.

The US bureau of labor statistics projects employment to increase thirty percent this decade.

Tags: Atlanta, NBC News, Physician assistant, Jodi Sendilar, Higgins family, Ansley Higgins
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