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Physician Assistant CME

Building Confidence and Competence in PAs and NPs

By August 8, 2018 No Comments
Building Confidence and Competence in PAs and NPs

I get it and I hated it.

As a new graduate PA, working emergency medicine, I hated not knowing. I hated going into the room and not having a grip on what was going on with the patient. I felt uncomfortable, because I wasn’t sure if they were sick, or not sick. I didn’t want to get burned.

Then you talk to your attending doc, and the next thing you know, the doc’s telling you, “This is pretty elementary.” You walk away feeling empty and lost. There were very basic, fundamental things I just didn’t get at that phase of my training. I hated that.

Being a new graduate clinician sucked. I thought it was very painful.

I went to work though, because I was invested. If you’re like me, you’re invested too. It’s why we went into medicine. You want to be the person with the answers. You want to be confident and competent. You want to earn the respect of the attending docs, so they say, “Hey, John knows what he’s talking about. That took some work.”

I believe we all have to grow in confidence and competence in a way that’s really applicable. In my training and my 21 years of emergency medicine hospitals and critical care, I’ve gone to a lot of conferences. A lot of them sucked. A lot of them were really bad.

What makes a bad conference? I always ask myself if a conference changed my practice. Did it give me tools of thinking? Did it give me ways to process information so I could say, “This one is sick, this one’s not sick,” when a patient is in front of me?

Lots of conferences were good, but they didn’t change my practice. That’s useless. I struggled to learn. I struggled to learn during high school and college; I had to bust my ass to get Bs. Why did I struggle? I have dyslexia. I don’t read well because I flip letters around. That’s very frustrating at times, but it allows me to look at content differently.

When I became an educator and started teaching at conferences, it was one of the greatest gifts, because I could take really complicated information and make it easier to understand and bring it bedside, into clinical practice. All of a sudden, people are saying, “Oh my gosh, thank you so much.”

When I was teaching at live conferences, people would come up to me after I taught about chest pain or EKGs or shortness of breath, and they’d say, “Oh man, that was so good. I wish I could watch it again.” That made me think, “Maybe I should start a business and start training people with these techniques.”

That moment happened eight years ago and it’s what made our business skyrocket. We made the Inc. 5000 list in 2016 and 2017; I’m told we’ll make it again in 2018.

I am passionately driven to give you “aha moments” and inspire you to exceed your cognitive expectations so you really get it. All of a sudden, you’re processing at a very high level. You can talk to your supervising doc about someone who’s sick and the doc says, “Oh, that’s a good case. All right.” All of a sudden, you’re getting a look of respect and admiration because you’re on the ball; you’re cognitively on the ball. You get it.

If you’re a PA or nurse practitioner and you’re sick of going to conferences that make you go, “It was good,” but you don’t change your practice, come to one of our emergency medicine conferences. Look at some of our emergency medicine videos. Listen to our Talk EM podcast, and see if you don’t go, “Wow, I’ve never processed things that way. That’s fantastic.”

Our content will make you think differently. It’s going to give you very standardized approaches to patients that increase your confidence and competence. It’s the coolest thing to be working side-by-side with a well-trained, knowledgeable emergency medicine physician you respect and have them say, “John, can you go see that patient and tell me what you think,” or, “Can you look at this EKG for me and tell me what you think?” It’s an honor to be respected in that capacity.

Allow me to help you do the same.

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