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PA Week: Night & Day

Each month, our Comments & Feedback column features your thoughts on the issues affecting NPs & PAs. This month, we highlighted reader submissions from PA Week 2012. Click on the link below to see how some PAs celebrated, and how others could use your help in spreading the word and making PA Week 2013 even better.

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PA Week: Night & Day

Comments & Feedback Archives

My first job out of PA School was at a remote rural clinic in the Aleutian islands of Alaska. I had to wait several weeks for my license so I was really looking forward to jumping right into work. My first pt as a licensed PA was a fish processing worker who had fallen asleep on the beach with a fire between his legs and woke up with his leg on fire. He patted the fire out with his bare hands and came into the clinic 2 days later because his hands were blistered and painful. His leg didn't hurt so he wasn't worried about it. He had 2nd degree burns of the hands and 3rd degree burns of the leg crossing over the knee joint. I got him cleaned up and consulted the surgeon in Anchorage who recommended he come in for debridement and possible grafting. I discussed this with the patient and he refused medevac and could not afford a flight into Anchorage. With the help of my supervising physician and the surgeon in Anchorage I spent the next 5 days trying to manage this patient at our clinic with IV antibiotics and burn care until he recognized the severity of his injuries and agreed to transport. I was so concerned that my first patient was going to die because I could not convince him of the severity of his injuries. It was an eye-opening introduction to the right of patients in decision making concerning their health.

Keils Kitchen,  Physician Assistant,  SEARHC/Mt. Edgecumbe HospitalSeptember 12, 2013
Sitka, AK


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