Physician Assistant Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in Pennsylvania

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it is in Pennsylvania which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania as a Locum Tenens Physician Assistant?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in Pennsylvania.

Click here for open physician assistant jobs in Pennsylvania!

Pennsylvania: A Brief History

Pennsylvania’s history is like a giant, dramatic play! It began with William Penn, a Quaker seeking religious freedom, who signed a treaty with Native Americans. Philadelphia was born, hosting the signing of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution – talk about a revolution! The steel industry then roared to life, fueling the nation’s growth. Today, Pennsylvania is a mix of bustling cities, Amish farms, and even a chocolate empire in Hershey! It’s a land of contrasts, steeped in history, where both liberty bells and cheesesteaks play important roles.

From its revolutionary roots to its bustling present day, Pennsylvania’s story is one of both tradition and transformation. The echoes of the past linger in its historic cities and quiet farmlands, while a vibrant, diverse spirit propels it forward. With a little bit of grit and a whole lot of heart, Pennsylvania stands as a testament to the enduring power of the Keystone State.

What is there to do and see in Pennsylvania?

  • Immerse yourself in the rich history of Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy. Visit iconic landmarks like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Betsy Ross House. Walk along the cobblestone streets of the historic district, lined with charming cafes and boutiques. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a guided tour of these historic sites and learn about the significant events that transpired here.
  • Step back in time and experience the simple life of the Amish in Lancaster County. Take a leisurely buggy ride through the picturesque countryside, admiring the lush farms and traditional Amish houses. Visit Amish shops and markets to purchase handmade crafts, quilts, and delicious homemade goods. Engage with the friendly locals and learn about their unique way of life.
  • Embark on an outdoor adventure in the breathtaking Pocono Mountains. Explore the rugged beauty of the Appalachian Trail on a challenging hike, or take a thrilling whitewater rafting trip in the Lehigh Gorge. Immerse yourself in nature as you paddle through the winding river, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush forests. In the winter, hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding at one of the many ski resorts in the area.
  • Pay homage to the brave soldiers who fought in the pivotal Civil War battle at Gettysburg National Military Park. Walk through the hallowed grounds and visit the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where thousands of soldiers are buried. Take a guided tour of the battlefield to learn about the significant events that took place here and the impact they had on the course of American history.

How close is Pennsylvania to other cities and states?

  • New York: Pennsylvania shares a significant northern border with New York. The distance from central Pennsylvania to the New York border is negligible. 
  • New Jersey: Pennsylvania’s entire eastern border is formed by the Delaware River, with New Jersey on the other side. The distance from central Pennsylvania to the New Jersey border is roughly 60 miles. 
  • Maryland: Pennsylvania touches Maryland on its southern border. The distance from central Pennsylvania to the Maryland border is approximately 80 miles.

Physician Assistants Scope of Practice In Pennsylvania

What is the Scope of Practice for Physician Assistants in Pennsylvania?

Physician assistants (PAs) in Pennsylvania have full practice authority, allowing them to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients without direct physician supervision. The decision was based on the state’s shortage of physicians and the recognition of PAs’ education and training. Studies show that PAs provide care comparable to physicians, improving access and quality of healthcare for patients.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Death Certificates in Pennsylvania?

Physician assistants are legally authorized to sign death certificates. This authority is granted by the Pennsylvania Medical Practice Act and further clarified by regulations from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. PAs must undergo training approved by the Department of Health and obtain a certificate of completion, which must be renewed every two years. PAs who are authorized to sign death certificates must assess the patient’s medical condition, obtain the patient’s medical history, perform a physical examination, determine the cause of death, and complete the death certificate according to the instructions provided by the Department of Health.

Does Pennsylvania Recognize Physician Assistants as Primary Care Providers? 

The state of Pennsylvania recognizes the importance of physician assistants in providing primary care to its residents. The Pennsylvania Medical Practice Act defines PAs as independent practitioners who can provide medical services under physician supervision. The state regulates PA practice through the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine and has enacted laws that require health insurers to provide coverage for PA services. This legal framework ensures that PAs are qualified and able to provide high-quality primary care, promoting access to care and improving the health of Pennsylvanians.

Can Physician Assistants Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in Pennsylvania?

Yes, physician assistants can prescribe schedule II drugs in Pennsylvania.

Do Physician Assistants Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Pennsylvania?

Physician assistants in Pennsylvania can become members of the medical staff at healthcare facilities. To be eligible, PAs must meet certain requirements, including having a valid PA license, completing an accredited PA education program, and having at least two years of clinical experience. Once they meet these requirements, PAs can apply for medical staff membership at healthcare facilities. If granted medical staff membership, PAs will be able to participate in all aspects of medical care at the facility. Medical staff membership is an important recognition of the PA’s role in the healthcare team.

Can Physician Assistants Order Physical Therapy in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, physician assistants have a wide scope of practice, including the ability to order physical therapy for their patients without physician oversight. This is especially important in areas with limited access to physicians, ensuring that patients can receive timely physical therapy interventions. PAs undergo rigorous education and training, and are required to pass a national certification exam. By granting PAs the authority to order physical therapy, the state recognizes their ability to provide high-quality healthcare services. Physical therapy is an essential component of rehabilitation and recovery for various conditions, and allowing PAs to order this service enhances patient access to care and promotes better health outcomes. PAs work in collaboration with physical therapists to ensure patients receive the most effective and appropriate treatment plan.


Can Physician Assistants Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in Pennsylvania?

Physician assistants can certify medical conditions that qualify individuals for disability parking placards, enabling them to access designated parking spaces close to their destinations. PAs are authorized to provide this certification alongside other healthcare professionals like physicians. The certification process involves evaluating the applicant’s medical condition and assessing its impact on their ability to walk or move. Physician assistants’ involvement in certifying disabilities for parking placards is crucial, ensuring equal access to public spaces and improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania.

Can Physician Assistants Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in Pennsylvania? 

Yes, physician assistants can sign POLST Forms in Pennsylvania.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Pennsylvania?

No, DNR orders require the signature of the attending physician. DNR orders are typically signed after a detailed discussion with the patient or the patient’s healthcare proxy or legal guardian. This conversation involves a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s medical condition, prognosis, and personal wishes regarding end-of-life care.

What are the Continuing Medical Education Requirements for Physician Assistants in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, physician assistants must complete 30 continuing education (CE) hours to renew their license. The CE hours can be earned through attending conferences, workshops, online courses, and other approved activities. Topics covered in the CE courses include medical ethics, pharmacology, patient safety, clinical medicine, emergency medicine, and cultural competency. This requirement helps ensure PAs provide high-quality care to their patients and improve the community’s overall health.

Find Your Next Physician Assistant Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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