PA Master's Projects

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 57
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    Prevalence of health professional students at a Midwestern College of Health Professions who attended a high school biomedical program
    (Wichita State University. Graduate School, 2008-05) Dennill, Kameshni; Muma, Richard D.
    To address the shortage of healthcare professionals nationwide, high schools across the nation have introduced biomedical programs into their curriculum to draw students into the health career track; in particular minority and underrepresented students who represent a large untapped resource of potentially eligible healthcare students. In order to determine the magnitude of such programs in Kansas, 1,358 individuals were surveyed who were either current or past healthcare students in a Midwestern college of health professions. Methodology: A 16 question survey, collected respondents’ demographic information, whether they participated in a high school biomedical program, and their perceptions of the program (if a participant). If appropriate the respondents were also asked to rate their biomedical program in terms of curriculum, healthcare insight gained, clinical experience, and student counseling. Results: The survey response rate was 17.7% (n=241). Only 7% (n=18) of the respondents participated in a high school biomedical program. Of those students who participated in a biomedical program, 94% went on to major in healthcare during college. Demographically, the majority (89.2%) of respondents were White and (86.3%) were female with little representation of minority and underrepresented students. Conclusion: Overall it appears that only a small percent of the preprofessional and professional healthcare students at a Midwestern college of health professions attended a biomedical program in high school; however, those who did found the programs to be beneficial in preparing them for a career in healthcare.
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    Cultural competency perceptions of physician assistant students
    (Wichita State University. Graduate School, 2008-05) Hook, Amy; Muma, Richard D.
    Cultural competency education has become increasingly important in health care education in order to treat patients in a nation of diversity. A standardized way of introducing cultural competency material and testing its effectiveness has not yet been formalized. Methodology: The purpose of this study was to analyze whether cultural competency attitudes of physician assistant students changed after completing a cultural competency curriculum based on a federally funded diversity workforce grant. A pre and post intervention survey of 15 questions was completed by a class of 42 physician assistant students. Results were analyzed using the Chi-Square statistic. Results: Attitudes regarding cultural competency were primarily unchanged from before and after completing the cultural competency curriculum. However, one item was statistically significant in terms of a relationship between pre and post intervention. Students initially believed that PAs cannot give excellent health care without knowing the patients’ understanding of their illness. However, after completing the cultural competency curriculum, students believed that PAs could do so. Conclusion: This preliminary study of PA students’ attitudes of cultural competency represents the attitudes of one class of PA students, where no significant changes were seen. Further studies are recommended in order to assess a variety of PA programs and cultural competency curricula.
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    Perceptions of U.S. PAs regarding the entry-level doctoral degree
    (Wichita State University. Graduate School, 2008-05) Ohlemeier, Lindsay S.; Muma, Richard D.
    Although many health care professions have implemented the entry-level clinical doctorate, the physician assistant (PA) profession has not done so to date. Furthermore, no research has been done on the PA profession to determine the appropriateness of entry-level doctoral education. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was designed to determine the perceptions of practicing PAs regarding an entrylevel Doctorate of Physician Assistant (DPA) degree. A randomized sample of 1,500 United States PAs was surveyed and the results were analyzed using descriptive and Chi- Square statistics. Results: The response rate for this survey was 23% (n=352). The majority of the respondents (82.8%) did not perceive the DPA degree to be necessary for entry into the PA profession. Likewise, 55.8% were not interested in returning to school to obtain the DPA. Additionally, the majority of the respondents believed that the master degree was sufficient for PA education, did not believe the DPA was necessary to deliver high standards of care, would not leave the field of PA if the DPA were required and believed the DPA would not be needed to compete with nurse practitioners. Conclusion: The study results reveal a group of PAs in the United States who do not favor the profession moving toward offering a DPA degree. These results are similar for other professions who have already moved toward doctoral education.
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    The OSCE compared to the PACKRAT as a predictor of performance on the PANCE
    (Wichita State University. Graduate School, 2008-05) Oberle, Barbara T.; Muma, Richard D.
    The purpose of this study was to compare the Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool (PACKRAT) and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) as predictors of performance on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). In order to become a licensed physician assistant one must graduate from an accredited program and pass the PANCE. Physician assistant programs use several methods to evaluate students and prepare students to take the PANCE. These methods include exams such as the PACKRAT and the OSCE. Due to the fact that the PACKRAT and the OSCE are being used for this purpose, it is imperative to know the predictive value of these exams on the PANCE. Methods: The study data used in this investigation were collected on 84 WSU PA Program graduates of 2003 and 2004 who have taken the PANCE. The identified set of explanatory variables include PACKRAT I, PACKRAT II, OSCE I, OSCE II, and PANCE scores. Correlation analysis was conducted comparing PACKRAT I and PANCE, PACKRAT II and PANCE, OSCE I and PANCE, and OSCE II and PANCE using linear models to determine how the scores relate. Logistic regression was used to assess the capability of PACKRAT I, PACKRAT II, OSCE I, and OSCE II to predict the PANCE score. Results: PACKRAT and PANCE scores were shown to be highly correlated. OSCE and PANCE scores were also correlated, but to a lesser degree. Linear regression revealed a significant relationship between the PACKRAT and PANCE, with 58% of variance in PANCE scores being accounted for by the variance in PACKRAT scores. The OSCE scores accounted for 19% of variance in PANCE scores. Conclusion: Both the PACKRAT and OSCE scores were predictive of PANCE scores. The PACKRAT was more predictive of the PANCE than the OSCE.
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    Factors influencing rural physician assistant practice
    (Wichita State University. Graduate School, 2008-05) Armour, Angela F.; Williamson, Robin K.; Muma, Richard D.
    In the 1960s, it was discovered that there was a significant need for more physicians to serve the U.S. population, especially in rural and medically underserved communities. The Physician Assistant profession was built with the hope of being an extension to physicians to help meet these needs. However, there continues to be large numbers of communities in every state that lack access to health care. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors influencing Physician Assistant practice location choice. Methodology: A retrospective cross-sectional study of PA student records in a mid-western rural-focused physician assistant program was conducted. Application data from PA graduates in 2003, 2004, and 2005 were evaluated for desired community size of practice location at the time of application compared to actual job placement and community size after graduation. A written survey was mailed to the same classes of graduates to assess factors that influenced selection of their first and current practice location. Data were analyzed using frequency counts and chisquare tests. Results: There was a 44% response rate from the 126 eligible to participate in the survey. It was noted that 60% of applicants listed their preference specialty as family practice; however, less than one-third of graduates were currently working in the family practice specialty. Similarly, applicants noted a preference to work in rural areas, but upon graduation for their first job and current job they tended to work in urban areas by a large percentage. There were five different factors with significant relationships in regard to PA practice location (p<.05): Significant others support of location, quality of life, employment opportunities for the significant other, scope of practice and recreation. A significant others support of the location appeared to be most important. Conclusion: Choice of employment at the time of application compared to graduation was markedly different. Choice of practice location did not appear to be a decision made by the graduate physician assistant alone, but also in conjunction with their significant other.