Everyone thinks about doctors, nurses, and even the receptionists, but few talk about one of the most important roles in the health care system: a Physician Assistant. (P.A.) A P.A. can do almost everything a Physician or Doctor does, but they do not have to specialize.
Recently, I was able to interview a Physician Assistant, Allison Ragatz. She has two master's degrees, in biochem and P.A. Allison has worked as a P.A. for more than a decade. She currently works at Medical Associates Clinic in Platteville, Wisconsin.
Allison Ragatz’s day goes a little like this:
First, she gets up and does chores around her house and makes sure her children, Toy and Teddy, get out of bed and are ready to go to school. Once she has them dropped at school, she goes to work. Alison begins seeing patients at 8:00 am and ends at 4:00 pm. In these eight hours, she will see anyone from a 65-year-old man with a sprained ankle to a 14-year-old who is in for a physical.
Ragatz confesses to liking the diversity of her patients the most because it means that every day is different, despite following the same routine. One example of how every day is different is when she was called on to remove the end of a q-tip that had become lodged in someone’s ear. Another interesting possibility she enjoys is getting to see the multiple generations of a family, from great-grandparent to great-grandchild.
From 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, she checks labs and does paperwork, then she goes home to do night chores, goes to bed, and gets up the next day to do it all again.