Stacey Sale, Physician Assistant Studies '13
Advance Practice Provider II, Physician Assistant, UK HealthCare Pediatric Cardiology
What are your primary responsibilities?
I evaluate and assess patients in Kentucky Clinic as outpatients and in Kentucky Children’s Hospital as inpatients. This involves taking a history, performing a physical exam, ordering tests, interpreting data, developing a plan, and charting all of this information. I also interrogate ILR/pacemaker/ICDs and review remote monitoring for these devices.
Why did you choose the UK College of Health Sciences for your studies?
I grew up in Kentucky, so in addition to a love of everything UK, it was important to me to be able to stay in Kentucky to help provide quality care for the people here as a PA.
Do you have any concerns about things in your current field?
As the current President of the Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants (KAPA) and a practicing PA at the University of Kentucky, my main concern regarding the PA profession is to ensure that PAs around the state are being utilized to the fullest extent of our scope of practice according to state law. Over the past three years, KAPA has been able to eliminate the “18-month” rule for new graduates, reduce the co-signature requirement to 10 percent of patient charts, increase the number of PAs supervised at onetime by a physician from 2 to 4, and eliminate the 30-minute rule from the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure (KBML) regulations. However, not all hospitals are currently allowing their PAs to practice to the extent that these laws allow, and this is negatively affecting patient care. Many times these scope of practice barriers are a result of a misunderstanding regarding state law, and so this year as both a PA and KAPA president, I really want to focus on hospital education to ensure the administrators understand how PAs can now provide more effective care with these new statutory changes.
Do you have any advice for students interested in your field?
Shadow PAs in a lot of different settings like family medicine, surgery, cardiology, ER, inpatient, outpatient, and in both large and small hospitals. PAs work in a large variety of specialties and settings, so just because you shadow someone in a small family medicine clinic and do not enjoy it, that does not mean that you will not enjoy working as a surgical PA in a large hospital. But in the meantime as a student, it’s important to understand the widely varied scope in which PAs practice. Also, it’s important to be involved in your profession. When you are a student, sometimes you do not think about how legislation or hospital administrative regulations will affect your future. However, then you graduate and you realize how much state law and hospital regulations impact you and your patients every single day. When you get involved with organizations like UK or KAPA as a student, you are not only provided with a great networking opportunity but also a way to shape your future as a health care provider.