Nicholas was selected by his classmates to serve as a student speaker for the Physician Assistant Class of 2020’s White Coat Ceremony. The ceremony celebrates students’ move from classroom learning to real-world patient care.
- Physician Assistant
Nick knew a career in healthcare was his calling. Straight out of high school he earned his bachelor’s in health science and then his master’s in recreation and sports science. After working as an athletic trainer for 17 years, Nick wanted to be even more involved in patient care. Enrolling in Penn College’s PA program was the next step toward achieving his goal.
Q&A with Nicholas
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE HEALTHCARE FIELD & SPORTS MEDICINE?
I have always known I've wanted to help others by taking care of them. It is very rewarding knowing you've made a difference in someone's care.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE YOUR PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT DEGREE?
I wanted to become a physician assistant because I wanted to do more for others and have more responsibilities in my career. Plus, I have always wanted to have my own patients.
WHAT IS SOMETHING COOL YOU LEARNED?
The most rewarding part of this experience has been the variety of clinical experiences I've obtained over the past year. (PA students spend their final year of study completing clinical rotations in a variety of healthcare settings.) From taking care of babies, the elderly, inmates, and everyone in between, I've truly enjoyed the encounters with many of these individuals the most.
HOW HAS THE MIX OF PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE & THEORY HELPED YOU?
From my past work experiences, I've obtained a lot of experience in orthopedics, but didn't have much experience in other areas of medicine. The classroom really helped me develop a much more rounded base of medical knowledge that has helped me gain confidence to treat a variety of patients and their medical conditions.
WHAT STANDS OUT TO YOU ABOUT THE PENN COLLEGE FACULTY?
I think the biggest thing that stands out to me is that they truly want us to be successful in the classroom and as healthcare professionals.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHER PARENTS THINKING ABOUT GOING BACK TO SCHOOL?
TAKING THE LEAD
At UPMC Williamsport, Nicholas and other students from the college’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences joined area law enforcement, emergency management and healthcare professionals in a simulation of a mass shooting. PA students simulated setting up and staffing a temporary emergency care center in the hospital’s lobby.
Thanks to extensive hands-on training in the lab and through clinical experiences, you'll be prepared to tackle whatever comes your way.
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