Physician Assistant Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in South Dakota

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 South Dakota which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

What You Need to Know About South Dakota 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 South Dakota.

Click here for open physician assistant jobs in South Dakota!

South Dakota: A Brief History

South Dakota’s history is a tapestry woven with Native American heritage, westward expansion, and the shaping of the American frontier. For centuries, tribes like the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Sioux thrived on the Great Plains. The arrival of European explorers and settlers led to conflict and dramatic changes, with events like the Gold Rush and the Battle of Little Bighorn shaping the region. The iconic Mount Rushmore was carved to symbolize the nation’s growth, while today, South Dakota honors both its Native American roots and the rugged spirit of the frontier.

South Dakota’s history resonates within its vast prairies, sacred landmarks, and the enduring spirit of its people. From ancient civilizations to modern-day challenges, its past is a complex and ongoing narrative, a testament to the forces that shape both a state and a nation.

What is there to do and see in South Dakota?

  • Unforgettable Monuments: Visit the iconic Mount Rushmore, marvel at the ongoing construction of the Crazy Horse Memorial, and witness the stark beauty of Badlands National Park. 
  • Experience Native American Culture:  Discover the vibrant heritage of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Sioux at cultural centers, powwows, or by exploring sites like the Wounded Knee Memorial. 
  • Outdoor Exploration: Hike through the Black Hills National Forest, go kayaking on the Missouri River, or search for wildlife like bison and pronghorn in Custer State Park. 
  • Step Back in Time: Explore the Wild West legacy in historic Deadwood, attend the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, or delve into the state’s prehistoric past at the Mammoth Site.

How close is South Dakota to other cities and states?

  • North Dakota: South Dakota shares its entire northern border with North Dakota. The distance from central South Dakota to the North Dakota border is negligible. 
  • Wyoming: South Dakota’s western border connects with Wyoming. The distance from central South Dakota to the Wyoming border is approximately 130 miles. 
  • Nebraska: South Dakota shares its southern border with Nebraska. The distance from central  South Dakota to the Nebraska border is about 150 miles.

Physician Assistants Scope of Practice In South Dakota

What is the Scope of Practice for Physician Assistants in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, physician assistants (PAs) have full practice authority, allowing them to perform medical tasks without direct physician supervision. This includes diagnosing, treating, and prescribing medications to patients. Full practice authority benefits patients and the healthcare system by providing access to high-quality care and easing the burden on physicians. PAs are dedicated to patient-centered care and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients. This step forward recognizes the valuable role PAs play in healthcare and contributes to quality, affordable care for South Dakota patients.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Death Certificates in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, physician assistants are legally permitted to sign death certificates. This acknowledgement recognizes the crucial role that PAs play in healthcare and their ability to make well-informed decisions. PAs undergo rigorous training and coursework to gain the knowledge and judgment necessary to sign death certificates. They also must be licensed by the state and maintain their licensure through ongoing education. By allowing PAs to sign death certificates, South Dakota recognizes their expertise and professionalism, ensuring that death certificates are accurate and families receive the necessary documentation promptly.

Does South Dakota Recognize Physician Assistants as Primary Care Providers? 

Yes, physician assistants are recognized as primary care providers in South Carolina. This recognition is supported by statutes and administrative codes, which outline the scope of their practice. They are authorized to conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medications, and perform certain medical procedures. The recognition of PAs as primary care providers is significant as it allows them to provide comprehensive and continuous care to patients, reduces the burden on physicians, and ensures patient safety and quality of care.

Can Physician Assistants Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in South Dakota?

Yes, physician assistants can prescribe schedule II drugs in South Dakota.

Do Physician Assistants Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, certified and licensed physician assistants meet the criteria to qualify for medical staff membership. They must possess a valid license and certification and demonstrate the ability to provide quality patient care. Physician assistants collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to deliver comprehensive care and play an important role in the healthcare system. Their inclusion as medical staff members acknowledges their contributions and allows them to participate in decision-making processes affecting patient care, thus maximizing their skills and knowledge to improve patient outcomes and contribute overall to healthcare quality in the state.

Can Physician Assistants Order Physical Therapy in South Dakota?

Yes, physician assistants can evaluate patients, diagnose conditions, and develop treatment plans that include physical therapy. They can also order diagnostic tests and collaborate with other healthcare providers to ensure patients receive optimal care. The ability of PAs to order physical therapy is important because it provides patients with easier and quicker access to services, ensures continuity of care, and helps reduce healthcare costs.


Can Physician Assistants Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, physician assistants are authorized to certify disability for parking placards. To obtain a disability parking placard, individuals must have a disability that limits their ability to walk or stand for extended periods, as certified by a licensed physician, PA, or nurse practitioner.

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

Yes, physician assistants are authorized to sign MOST forms in the state of South Dakota.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, physician assistants can issue Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, which outline a patient’s preferences regarding resuscitation efforts in case of cardiac or respiratory arrest.

What are the Continuing Medical Education Requirements for Physicians in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, physician assistants (PAs) must complete 30 continuing education (CE) hours to renew their license. This requirement ensures they stay updated on the latest medical advancements and best practices. The 30 CE hours include specific topics like pharmacology, clinical medicine, ethics, and patient safety. PAs can fulfill the requirement through activities like attending conferences, workshops, online courses, and journal reviews. This requirement aligns with national standards for PA practice and ensures high-quality, evidence-based care for patients in South Dakota.

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.


Complete the following form to learn more about how we can help you find the perfect opportunity
* Required
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.