Orthopedic Physician Assistant

Help Doctors treat patients with bone and muscle conditions.

What does an Orthopedic Physician Assistant do?

Orthopedic medicine focuses on the bones, muscles, and skeleton of the body. Orthopedic Physicians diagnose and treat torn ligaments, overextended muscles, cartilage issues, fractured bones, and joint problems. Orthopedic Surgeons perform surgeries to repair these problems, and Orthopedic Physician Assistants assist in the operating room in a variety of ways.

Now that we have that all clearly defined, if you’re interested in becoming an Orthopedic Physician Assistant, you’re looking at a challenging and rewarding career that’s a combination of Nurse and Surgeon. While you don’t actually perform surgeries, you’re in the operating room while they take place. You might assist in surgeries for hip replacements, knee replacements, or fracture repair. Back, shoulder, and ankle surgeries all make it onto your schedule as well.

Outside of the operating room, you might make rounds at the hospital and sit in on appointments between the Orthopedic Surgeon and the patient. You also prep the patient and the room for surgery. In fact, you’re the point of contact for the patient before, during, and after any procedure. So brush up on your bedside manner because you’re responsible for asking questions, ordering tests, reviewing the results, updating the patient’s file, and offering a comforting hand.

If that’s not enough, the responsibilities of your position as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant also include sterilizing the operating room and equipment, making sure the schedule is up to date, administering topical anesthesia, and cleaning skin. Following surgery, you monitor the patient, remove staples, and apply casts.