I graduated with a masters in Physician Associate Studies from RCSI class of 2021 and recently commenced employment with the Bon Secours Hospital Cork. I am working on a busy General, Endocrine and Breast surgery service alongside my supervising Consultant Surgeon, Mr Peter O'Leary.
My role is very patient-centred and I work closely with Mr O'Leary on all aspects of perioperative patient care. I am responsible for conducting daily ward rounds with my supervising Consultant which consists of reviewing the health history, performing a physical examination and reviewing laboratory and radiology results of each patient. A treatment plan is then devised and documented in the medical notes. I play a key role in ensuring that the all aspects of the treatment plans are carried out in a timely manner. This may involve liaising with other members of the MDT such as nursing staff, clinical nurse specialists, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and discharge coordinators to ensure that all of the patients' medical needs are addressed. I also ensure that patients who are deemed fit for discharge home are done so in a timely manner by making sure their paperwork is prepared in advance.
I really enjoy our theatre days where I assist Mr O'Leary with his cases. My role in theatre involves preparing the theatre for the case and ensuring any scans or biopsy results are available and displayed within the operating theatre. I also help with theatre list planning and communicate the finalised list with theatre staff well in advance of the theatre day.
A key aspect of my role involves admitting acute surgical cases. I carry out a comprehensive medical history and physical examination, followed by cannulation and taking bloods. Mr O'Leary then reviews the patient and orders the relevant diagnostic imaging and appropriate prescriptions. I also attend the Bons Breast and Oncology MDT on a weekly basis and ensure our patients relevant radiology and pathology results are available for discussion at the meeting.
My duties are not solely clinical based. Research is a central part of my day-to-day role and I am involved in several ongoing studies. We will soon be recruiting for an international, prospective inguinal hernia study known as the RETAINER study. We hope to have our own clinical trial up and running in the near future. In addition, I maintain several databases for the practice including a pan-European Endocrine Surgical database known as Eurocrine where our data is recorded prospectively.
The continuity of care I provide as a Physician Associate, benefits both the medical team and the patients, and inevitably results in a more efficient service. Having a PA on Mr O'Leary's team means there is a team member that does not move around on rotations. The Bon Secours Hospital is providing a great platform for the Physician Associate profession to flourish. The future of the PA role in the Bon Secours Hospital Cork is bright.
Aaron Brady, Physician Associate Studies, Class of 2021