Physician Assistant Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in Washington

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

Mountain in Washington state

What You Need to Know About Washington 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 Washington.

Click here for open physician assistant jobs in Washington!

Washington: A Brief History

Washington’s history is a journey from ancient times to modern innovation. For thousands of years, diverse Native American tribes thrived in the Pacific Northwest. European explorers arrived in the 1700s, followed by Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition. Fur trading and logging fueled early settlements, while conflict over land was a sad reality. After statehood in 1889, the gold rush brought prospectors, and Seattle emerged as a major port city.  In the 20th century, Boeing took flight, dams harnessed the Columbia River, and tech giants like Microsoft transformed the economy. Washington today blends its rich heritage with an innovative spirit.

From lush rainforests to the Cascade Mountains, Washington’s landscapes mirror its history – rugged, beautiful, and marked by constant change. Its story speaks of the enduring spirit of Native peoples, the ambitions of pioneers, and the relentless drive for innovation. Washington stands as a testament to the transformative power of the American West, a place where the past echoes in the present as it boldly shapes its future.

What is there to do and see in Washington?

  • Seattle Vibes: Experience the buzz of Seattle – visit Pike Place Market, take in skyline views from the Space Needle, and explore its vibrant music and coffee culture.
  • Olympic National Park Adventures: Hike through ancient rainforests, explore tidepools on the rugged coast, and camp beneath towering peaks in stunning Olympic National Park.
  • Island Escapes: Ferry to the San Juan Islands for whale watching, kayaking, and charming island towns, or explore the artsy communities on Whidbey Island.
  • Wine Country & Eastern Landscapes: Tour vineyards and enjoy the tasting rooms of Walla Walla, or marvel at the dramatic scenery of the Columbia River Gorge and the volcanic peak of Mount Rainier.


How close is Washington to other cities and states?

  • Oregon: Washington shares its entire southern border with Oregon. The distance from central Washington to the Oregon border is negligible.
  • Idaho: Washington’s eastern border connects with Idaho. The distance from central Washington to the Idaho border is around 250 miles. 
  • British Columbia (Canada): Washington shares its northern border with the Canadian province of British Columbia. The distance from central Washington to the British Columbia border is approximately 220 miles.

Physician Assistant Scope of Practice In Washington

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

In Washington state, physician assistants (PAs) hold full practice authority, enabling them to practice medicine independently without direct physician supervision. This includes diagnosing and treating patients, prescribing medications, and performing medical procedures. PAs provide high-quality care comparable to that of physicians. Independent practice empowers PAs to deliver comprehensive care, order tests, interpret results, and make diagnoses promptly, reducing wait times and ensuring timely care. Full practice authority for PAs is a valuable asset to the healthcare system, improving access to quality care regardless of location or socioeconomic status.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Death Certificates in Washington?

Yes, physician assistants are authorized to sign death certificates in Washington. 

Does Washington Recognize Physician Assistants as Primary Care Providers? 

The state of Washington, through its statutes and administrative codes, acknowledges the role of physician assistants as primary care providers. 

Can Physician Assistants Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in Washington?

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

Do Physician Assistants Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in Washington?

In Washington state, physician assistants (PAs) are considered healthcare providers eligible for medical staff membership. PAs can hold clinical privileges at hospitals and participate in medical decision-making. They work collaboratively with physicians and other professionals to provide high-quality patient care. PAs are licensed by the state and must meet specific education, training, and certification requirements. The benefits of having PAs on the medical staff include increased access to care, improved quality of care, reduced costs, and increased patient satisfaction.

Can Physician Assistants Order Physical Therapy in Washington?

In the state of Washington, physician assistants are granted full authority to order physical therapy for their patients.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in Washington?

In the state of Washington, PAs are authorized to certify disability for parking placards following a comprehensive medical evaluation of the patient to determine if they meet the eligibility criteria. This requires the PA to have a thorough understanding of the qualifying medical conditions and the application process. The PA must complete the necessary paperwork and submit it to the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). The DOL will then issue the patient a disabled parking placard. 

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

Yes, physician assistants can sign POLST forms in Washington.

Can Physician Assistants Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Washington?

In Washington, physician assistants can sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, demonstrating their important role in providing quality healthcare. 

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physician Assistants in Washington?

In Washington State, physician assistants (PAs) must complete 100 continuing education (CE) hours every two years to maintain their license. The CE requirement is designed to promote the delivery of safe and effective healthcare to patients by ensuring that PAs have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality care.

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.