Injector Education: What is a PA, and Can I Receive Injections from One?
If you’ve recently booked an appointment for cosmetic injections (such as dermal fillers or Botox), then you may have been informed that a PA will be administering those injections. For some patients, this causes worry and confusion; after all, the role of PAs is poorly understood by the general public. Fortunately, these fears are unfounded. In many instances, receiving injections from a PA often offers a superior experience.
What is a PA?
PA stands for “Physician Assistant.” As the name suggests, a PA is typically trained to perform many of the same duties as a physician. A PA can help primary care physicians diagnose and treat illnesses by administering diagnostic tests, taking medical histories, and (depending on the state they’re operating in) prescribing medication. They can also assist surgeons (cosmetic and medical) during surgery and perform surgical procedures under the supervision of a physician.
That level of expertise requires rigorous training and education; PAs must earn a master’s degree, take a national certification exam (the PANCE exam), and shadow a trained physician before engaging in active duty. They are also obligated to continue their education (similar to a physician), pursue state licensure, and be re-certified after a period of time.
What Are the Advantages of Having Injections Administered by a PA?
The primary advantage of receiving injections from a PA is that you will be in the hands of a highly trained, experienced medical professional. They have an in-depth understanding of human anatomy, which can be advantageous when administering cosmetic injections. Some people even argue that receiving injections from a PA can be superior to receiving them from certain physicians. Why? In the cosmetic field, PAs often specialize in a given area, such as performing injection treatments, and this gives them a wealth of very specific experience. Some physicians, on the other hand, specialize in another field and are only minimally trained in cosmetic injectables.
Note, however, that there are exceptions to the above guidelines. While most PAs have more training than nurses, this is not always the case. Some nurses have additional training that makes their level of expertise almost indistinguishable from PAs. Nurse Practitioners, for example, must obtain a level of education and training similar to that of a PA. Additionally, some RNs pursue continuing education that adds significantly to their body of knowledge. The bottom line? It’s always a good idea to ask about a medical professional’s individual background, training, and experience before selecting them to perform cosmetic procedures.
At H/K/B, we understand that it’s not so much the product that matters—it’s the injector. It’s why we’re so proud to have such a skilled, talented team of physician assistant injectors and certified nurse injectors. For a chance to work with our esteemed team of cosmetic injectors, contact H/K/B for a consultation.