Paramedic to PA Bridge Program in Texas

Last Updated on May 12, 2024 by Team College Learners

Are you interested in pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine as a Physician Assistant (PA)? If so, the Paramedic to PA Bridge Program in Texas may be the perfect pathway for you. This unique program is specially designed for EMTs and Paramedics who aspire to become practicing PAs in the field of Emergency Medicine. By completing this program, individuals will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to excel as emergency medical providers in Texas.

The admission process for the Paramedic to PA Bridge Program may vary depending on the university offering the program. Typically, applicants are required to submit an application, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and may be asked to participate in an interview. It is important for prospective students to carefully review the specific admission requirements and deadlines for the university they are applying to in order to ensure a successful application.

To apply for this program, individuals must first be certified as a paramedic in the state of Texas or another state that has reciprocity with Texas. Additionally, applicants must have completed all pre-requisite coursework and requirements for admission into a Physician Assistant program.

The application process begins with an online application that can be found on our website. After submission of your application, you will be contacted by an admissions counselor to discuss your eligibility and schedule an interview.

You’re a paramedic or an EMT. You love the people you help and the fast pace of the job, but you don’t quite feel like you’re doing enough. How can you elevate your career to do more for people?

You’ve probably heard about physician assistants (PAs). They work in hospitals and medical offices, taking medical histories, conducting physical exams, ordering and interpreting tests, diagnosing illnesses, and developing treatment plans. Sound familiar?

The good news is that it’s possible to transition from being a paramedic or an EMT to become a PA with just a little more training. To become a PA, you’ll need to complete a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Master’s degree from an accredited physician assistant program. In addition to your coursework, you’ll also need to complete clinical rotations in areas such as internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, women’s health care, mental health and behavioral medicine.

While this may seem like a lot of extra training on top of what you already have under your belt as an EMT or paramedic, it doesn’t take all that much time—just 3 years of additional schooling—to be able to say you’re a PA. Just think about how much more.

paramedic to pA bridge program in texas

In order to be eligible for the Paramedic to PA Bridge Program, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree and must also be certified as an EMT or Paramedic. Additionally, applicants must have completed prerequisite courses in areas such as biology, chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. Strong academic performance and relevant work experience in the healthcare field are also taken into consideration during the admission process.

From EMT to Physician Assistant: EMT Career Guide

This innovative program is designed for individuals who want to become practicing PAs in the field of Emergency Medicine. Through this program, participants will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful emergency medical providers in the state of Texas.  After completing the course work and examinations, individuals will be eligible to start this exciting career path in Emergency Medicine. EMT’s and Paramedics can become Physician Assistants by completing a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Master’s degree from an accredited Physician Assistant program.

How to Become a Physician Assistant: Duties, Responsibilities, Schooling, Requirements, Certifications, Job Outlook, and Salary

Working as an EMT or a Paramedic is an excellent way to gain medical field experience.

In addition to providing an essential service by caring for and transporting sick and injured patients to hospitals, emergency medical workers can gain broad exposure to other medical professionals. For some EMTs, these experiences may inspire them to advance their careers by pursuing different jobs in healthcare.

For this edition of our “EMT alternative careers” series, we will explore how someone can change their career from EMT to Physician Assistant.

What Is a Physician Assistant

A Physician Assistant (PA) is similar in many ways to a medical doctor, but the position requires far less training and time in school.

A PA’s responsibilities are close to those of a doctor—including making diagnoses, performing procedures, and directly treating patients. The main difference between these roles, however, is that while a doctor can work autonomously, a physician assistant must always works under a doctor’s supervision.

For an EMT or paramedic interested in a career change, becoming a physician assistant could be a lot more attainable than you think.

pa programs in texas requirements

How to Become a Physician Assistant

Becoming a Physician Assistant takes a considerable amount of time and training—more than is required to become an EMT or Paramedic, but significantly less than becoming a medical doctor.

Aspiring Physician Assistants must complete both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree before passing the PANCE exam (Physician Assistant National Certification Exam).

The exam covers everything from internal organs to diseases to medical assessments, and all states require PA’s to be licensed before practicing medicine.

paramedic to pA bridge program in texas

Becoming a Physician Assistant May Be a Good Career Choice for You If…

  • You are comfortable administering injections and other medications.
  • You are a naturally compassionate person.
  • You are academically gifted.
  • You handle responsibility well.
  • You can be calm under pressure.
  • You can work multiple projects simultaneously.
  • You communicate well with people.
  • You work well with others.

What Does a Physician Assistant Do

PA Programs: How to Become a Physician Assistant | GetEducated

Physician Assistants, like medical doctors, can work in any variety of fields, ranging from family medicine to emergency medicine to psychiatry. Within each field, PA’s handle many of the same job functions as medical doctors while under the direct supervision of an MD.

Common responsibilities for Physician Assistant include:

  • Taking patients’ medical history
  • Examining patients
  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or blood tests
  • Diagnosing patients’ injuries or illnesses
  • Prescribing treatment or medication
  • Tracking and recording patient progress
  • Researching new techniques and tools for patient care

Exact responsibilities may vary according to the field chosen by the Physician Assistant.

Physician Assistant Job Description

What Is a Typical Day for a Physician Assistant?

The daily schedule of a Physician Assistant is, again, very similar to that of a medical doctor.

Days typically begin with a review of scheduled appointments which vary according to the field in which you practice. A family medicine PA, for example, might review a day’s schedule that includes an infant with a fever, a new patient with a skin irritation, an elderly patient with a persistent cough, and three or four standard physicals.

Between appointments, Physician Assistants may be asked to return calls to patients—advising them on whether they should book an appointment, go to a hospital, or treat themselves at home.

When not working with patients, PA’s may spend a few hours in their office, looking over test results, examining readings, and strategizing over the best course of action for their patients.

Physician Assistant Hours

Most Physician Assistants work a full 40-hour week. Each practice will vary, but as with any medical office or hospital, that week may include weekends or holidays. PA’s may also be asked to be “on call” for periods of time—standing by to come in should a medical emergency arise.

Physician Assistant Uniform

Exact uniform requirements will vary from office to office, but in general, most physician assistants wear scrubs for work.

In addition to the scrubs, Physician Assistants (like doctors and nurse practitioners) also wear the traditional white coats.

paramedic to pA bridge programs

What Training Is Required to Become a Physician Assistant?

While some of the core principals of EMT and paramedic training still apply (wound dressing, patient stabilization, infection prevention, etc.), building on your emergency medicine focus will require additional coursework and training.

EMT’s and Paramedics can become a Physician Assistant by completing a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Master’s degree from an accredited physician assistant program.

Physician Assistant Programs

Physician assistant courses may vary depending on your chosen program/college. However, most PA programs typically require you to study the following topics:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Hands-on clinical training
  • Medical Terminology
  • Principles of Medicine
  • Principles of Surgery
  • Physical Diagnosis and Patient Evaluation

How Long Does It Take to Become a paramedic in Physician Assistant

Becoming a physician assistant can take anywhere from four to six years.

Determining how long it takes to become a Physician Assistant depends entirely on where you start. If you are an EMT or Paramedic who already has a Bachelor’s degree, then attaining your Master’s degree may take up to two to three years.

If you don’t have an undergraduate degree, or have not yet completed it, you will need to factor in those remaining semesters as well.

Physician Assistant Certification

Once you’ve completed your physician assistant training, you’ll need to pass a certification exam, the PANCE.

This five-hour exam focuses primarily on medical content with 300 multiple choice questions ( The test is administered in 60-minute blocks with 60 questions per block.

The PANCE is a PSI exam (computer taken and scored) so EMTs and paramedics will be familiar with the testing process.

Taking the PANCE requires a $550 exam fee, and the exam can be taken up to six times.

Paramedic To Pa Bridge Program In Texas -

Physician Assistant Required Skills

Besides the educational and certification requirements, PA’s should exhibit the following skills to achieve success:

  • Communication – PA’s work directly with doctors and other medical staff, but they also communicate with patients (some of whom may be anxious, distraught, or in need of education on a procedure or diagnosis).
  • Compassion – Physician Assistants treat patients of all ages and who could be suffering from any number of injuries or illnesses. A good bedside manner is vital for success.
  • Organization – A PA may be responsible for treating multiple patients, so keeping patient records and test results organized, schedules efficient, and procedures lined up correctly is vital to providing proper care.
  • Detail Oriented – Not only must patient schedules stay organized, every detail of diagnosis and treatment must be locked down as well.
  • Problem Solving – Physician Assistants work directly under a medical doctor, so help is available when needed, but PA’s are still expected to analyze situations, identify problems, and prescribe the best route for solving them.
  • Emotional Stability – Physician Assistants, like medical doctors, have a lot of responsibility. Lives literally hang in the balance, which means that to make it as a Physician Assistant, you must be able to handle the pressure.

how to go from paramedic to PA

How Will My EMT Experience Help Me Become a Physician Assistant?

EMT and Paramedic experience can be beneficial for a future Physician Assistant in many ways. Some of those include:

  • Shift Experience – Physician Assistants may work standard office hours during a normal week, but emergency situations may call for weekend, evening, or holiday hours. As an EMT, you already know how to balance this.
  • Proof of Performance – EMTs and paramedics have valuable field experience treating injuries and illnesses in the field, so their ability to handle emergency medicine is already established.
  • Patient Care – Learning to work with an injured or upset patient in the field is something that can’t be learned from textbooks alone. Real world experience and bedside manner are skills quickly learned in the field of emergency medicine.
  • Communication – As an EMT, you’re already familiar with much of the terminology and communication styles of the medical world, and you know the vital pieces of information that have to be communicated quickly, accurately, and efficiently.
  • Organizational Skills – EMTs have real-world experience in collecting and organizing patient information while in the field, a skill that directly applies to working as a Physician Assistant.
  • Strong Stomach – PA’s and EMTs see nearly every type of injury or illness under the sun, and many of the emergency situations will be similar. EMTs and paramedics have established field experience that proves they can handle whatever emergency arises, and this skill is vital to success as a Physician Assistant.

Physician Assistant Salary

How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a Physician Assistant is $112,410 per year (or $54.04 per hour).

Physician assistants who earn in the top 10 percentile can make over $157,120.

Furthermore, this job field is also growing very rapidly, with an astounding 31% growth expected in the coming years (BLS).

Of course, there are factors, such as experience, specialization, and location that will determine your pay as a physician assistant. The following section provide a high-level snapshot of PA salaries based on industry and region.

From Paramedic to PA: What You Need to Know | Resources

Highest Paid Industries for Physician Assistants

Here is a list of occupational settings where Physician Assistants can work, ranked in order of average salary:

IndustryAverage Hourly WageAverage Salary
Scientific Research$60.30$125,410
Personal Care Services$60.23$125,280
Outpatient Care Centers$58.33$121,320
Individual and Family Services$57.26$119,110
General Hospitals$54.60$113,580
Specialty Hospitals$53.94$112,190
Physician’s Offices$53.68$111,650
Offices of Other Health Practitioners$52.02$108,190

Highest Paying States for Physician Assistants

StateAverage Hourly WageAverage Salary
New Jersey$62.23$129,440

Highest Paying Cities for Physician Assistants

CityAverage Hourly WageAverage Salary
Salinas, CA$77.58$161,370
Gardner, MA$75.12$156,250
Waterbury, CT$74.30$154,550
Danbury, CT$70.91$147,500
New Bern, NC$70.62$146,880
Santa Rosa, CA$69.34$144,230
Porterville, CA$68.19$141,840
Chico, CA$66.48$138,270
Hartford, CT$66.37$138,050
Yuba City, CA$65.96$137,210

Beginning Your Career as a Physician Assistant

Becoming a Physician Assistant is just one of many career opportunities for those seeking additional training to build on their EMT or paramedic experience.

If you’re not already an EMT and would like to gain real-world experience before taking the leap to Physician Assistant, you can start by enrolling in an EMT basic training program.

While not required to become a physician assistant, EMT training and experience can lead to career advancement. Jobs for both Physician Assistants and EMTs are in high demand, and employers are constantly looking for hard-working, smart, and dedicated employees for their teams. If that sounds like you, take the first step towards a bright new career in emergency medicine.

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