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Current Roles and Administrative Facts of the Korean Physician Assistant

전담간호사 운영현황과 역할 실태

  • Received : 2014.07.01
  • Accepted : 2014.10.02
  • Published : 2014.10.28

Abstract

Hospitals in Korea have been increasingly using physician assistants (PA) as an alternative way of dealing with the shortage of residents. However, some incidents of a Physician's Assistant practicing beyond their legal scope require closer examination of the current PA's roles and functions. This study is a web-based survey designed towards targeting physician assistants in Korea (KPA) who practice delegated tasks under a physician's license. Currently, there are 2,125 KPAs working in 141 general hospitals and medical centers. Data from 704 nurses from who responded to the questionnaire were analyzed with descriptive statistics using the SPSS 12.0 program. Their mean age is 32.5 years with 8-10 years of clinical experiences, with males being more likely to be a PA. Despite of KPAs providing medical services and performing invasive procedures, only 13% of KPAs are licensed APNs (advanced practice nurse). KPAs have a low job satisfaction due to a lack of rewards and the necessity for providing illegal practices, and are experiencing identity confusion. The current KPA system is a transitional product of the change from the hierarchial structure to a more collaborative relationship between the medical and nursing departments. Providing adequate education and training, establishing protocols with legal protection, and developing professional independent scope of care are recommended to deliver safe and efficient medical services.

Keywords

Physician Assistant;Health Policy;Advanced Practice Nursing

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