I worked for ACR for three years during my undergrad years. After that, I took a gap year and worked full-time for ACR before starting PA school. I’m now a physician’s assistant in gastroenterology. I can tell you that most PA programs require patient care hours just to be eligible for interview.
I also found in my classes and in talking to classmates that my experience at ACR was really valuable in my education. Getting patient care hours at ACR helped me understand my classroom work better. For example, in classes like pharmacology I could recall different ACR clients I worked with and remember the side effects of their medications.
ACR Pays You to be Trained!
Another great thing at ACR is their training in CPR, First Aid, passing medications and other aspects of health care. That was huge. You actually get paid by ACR to be trained, versus having to take a CNA class or EMT class.
Another thing I discovered is that in addition to medical knowledge, documentation is a huge part of any healthcare career. ACR teaches you how to write professionally and descriptively so that other professionals can know exactly what is going on. To be able to communicate effectively to everyone involved in patient care is a huge skill in any medical position.
Patient Care Hours at ACR Taught Me to Understand the Patient’s Perspective
At ACR there’s also a big push for being a patient advocate. Many ACR residents are non-verbal and unable to speak for themselves, and yet I could see they still had opinions. My patient care hours at ACR taught me to look past illness and see each person as a human being. I learned to seek and to understand each person’s perspective.
In actual practice you get a lot of patients similar to the clients of ACR–the elderly, people of different ethnicity, people who can’t speak English or communicate verbally. I was glad I had experience in learning to seek the patient’s perspective. At ACR I also learned that with every diagnosis you might get patients who are sometimes angry or combative. I learned that may be the illness speaking–not necessarily the patient. I learned to recognize patients for who they are, because they’re all human beings. –Brittany B., PA