After graduating from UNC, I began my career in the Emergency Department at Chatham Hospital through UNC Healthcare. Chatham Hospital, located in Siler City, NC, is a 25-bed critical access hospital. We provide many services including surgical, medical, pediatric and emergency services. We also have outpatient services for cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.
Our emergency department consists of 10 beds in which we provide care to more than 1,200 patients per month. I see approximately 60 patients per week, depending on patient flow.
In addition, I work as a hospitalist PA overlooking inpatient care. To further improve patient care at Chatham Hospital, I am also in the process of being trained to perform stress testing.
Experiences before, during and after PA school
Prior to PA school, I obtained my BS in Health and Exercise Sciences from Wake Forest University. I then went to the University of South Carolina and obtained my Masters in Public Health. To obtain hours for PA school I worked as a medical scribe and as a patient services coordinator in outpatient pediatrics. I also worked as a Health Educator through Community Wellness and Education.
While in PA School I was the NCAPA student representative and worked with leaders from other PA programs across the state to help provide the best education and experiences for PA Students. I focused the majority of my time on preparing myself for my PA career.
After PA school, I have focused on strengthening my skills as an emergency department and hospitalist provider. I am a member of the NCAPA, SEMPA, and NCCPA. I am also starting to work with students from the UNC PA Program.
How UNC program prepared you for life after PA school and what it feels like to give back to the community as PA-C
As part of the first class of the UNC PA program, I felt very prepared for my profession through my training from UNC. I continue to use the skills I learned from UNC and continue to broaden my education daily.
I grew up in a rural community, and with these experiences, I knew that I wanted to give back to a similar area once I became a PA. Chatham Hospital allows me to do this each time I come to work. As a provider in a rural area, it can be both humbling and fulfilling to provide healthcare. I am thankful to the UNC PA program for my experiences and training. The tools they have provided me have given me the foundation to give back to the Chatham Community.
Words of Wisdom
Although I have only been working for a few months, I can truly say that there is no other profession for me. PA school can be very demanding, but in the end, it is worth all of the sleepless nights, stressful days and never-ending tests. I would like to pass on some words of wisdom, “hang in there and you will soon reap the rewards of the PA profession.”