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Online Physician Assistant Classes Overview

Students enrolled in online physician assistant classes are generally working towards a postgraduate certificate or master's degree in physician assistant studies. Some schools offer a portion of the didactic part of the program online.

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Physician Assistant Classes Online

Below are a few of the online course options for students in a physician assistant program.

  • Anatomy and Medical Terminology Class: Students learn medical terminology used by physician assistants along with the basic fundamentals of anatomy. This class prepares students for the clinical portion of the physician assistant program by offering instruction in the processes for medical interviewing, physical assessment and patient charting.
  • Physician Assistant Primary Care Class: This course focuses on the techniques and theories used in performing a physical examination, obtaining a patient's health history and completing charts on patients of various ages. Emphasis is on variances patients may exhibit due to normal or abnormal development, aging or pregnancy. Students learn effective methods for completing skillful physical exams through clinical skill labs.
  • Health Care Delivery Systems Class: Students receive an introduction to the U.S. health care delivery system and the financial issues affecting the system, particularly regarding physician assistant positions. This class focuses on such economic and financial issues as reimbursement, health insurance and managed health care.
  • Role of the Physician Assistant Class: Students learn the various roles and sectors of the physician assistant in the health care industry, including statewide and national physician assistant organizations, malpractice insurance, national certification, licensure requirements, liability, the role of the physician assistant in rural health care settings and other legal issues.
  • Human Physiology Class: This class provides students with a fundamental understanding of the major organ systems in the human body. The course will emphasize the presentation of disease at different life stages, along with topics like cellular biology, genetics and electrolytes.
  • Patient Assessment Class: This class provides students with the knowledge they need to make accurate and complete patient assessments. It concentrates on skills needed to record a complete medical history, proper techniques to use with various pieces of diagnostic equipment, and the use of the correct medical terminology to document findings. Students will develop these skills though laboratory exercises and community experiences.
  • Clinical Medicine Class: This class provides students with an intensive study of diseases and disorders from pediatric through geriatric patients. The class covers epidemiology, laboratory medicine, prognosis, medical history, disease progression, therapeutic management, and etiology. The emphasis is on disease processes common to a primary care practice and developing a diagnostic plan based on the particular patient's specific needs.

Program Information

Physician assistants are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. Although the didactic portion of physician assistant classes and programs may be available fully online, students are required to complete a designated number of hours in a clinical setting. Online courses cover areas like behavioral and medical science.

Upon completion of a physician assistant program, students are qualified to sit for the national certification exam. Physician assistants are required to complete 100 hours of continuing education courses every two years to maintain certification requirements.

Students who wish to pursue a career as a physician assistant can find online classes available through various universities throughout the country. These classes, combined with clinical experiences in each student's home area, provide a solid foundation for future success in a fast growing and much needed occupation.

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