RE: PA Job Description

From:Ross Stapf

With every position Histotechs and PA's included you have:

Great employees--those that are always looking to do more and do it well

Good employees--those that need direction and focus, but do a good job when they know what they are supposed to do.

Average to poor employees-- those that don't want to do any more than they absolutely have to.

My experience is that most PA's are quite willing to help out with anything in a pinch, but if they feel they are being taken advantage of they may begin to balk at some duties.  Luckily I have not had a situation as extreme as Roxane describes at least not since the Pathologists themselves grossed, and even then most would at least try to help with some things when the Assistant got behind.  

Here the PA's are employed by the Pathology group and the Histotechs and Histo Assistants are employed by the hospital so there are some politics to asking a PA to do what a Hospital employee should be doing.  However it is in everyone's best interest to work together and our PA's realize this and help out when there are problems.  

I wouldn't lump all PA's together due to Roxane's bad experiences.  However, you do need to do proper interviews and not just hire someone because they are the best one currently available for the position.  Sometimes a position is better left open than to hire the wrong person.  I have found this out the hard way and have observed it as a tech before.  Now that I found Vinnie's article on Interviewing on the Histologic archives I plan to be very thorough in any future interviews.   

Ross Stapf
Histology Supervisor
Washington Adventist Hospital
Takoma Park MD

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