Medical associate professions
The NHS has seen the emergence of new professional roles working within multi-professional teams as part of the continuing drive to provide safe, accessible and high quality care for patients.
In particular, four new roles are becoming an increasingly important part of the healthcare team across hospital and community services.
What are the medical associate professions?
Each medical associate profession is trained in their specific role and provide patient care while working under the supervision of a doctor. This releases additional time for doctors to focus on more complex patient issues and advanced care.
Each profession has its own education and training. A summary of what they each do is:
- physician associates have completed a generalist medical education. They are trained to perform a number of roles in both hospital and general practice including:
- taking medical histories
- performing examinations
- analysing test results
- managing and diagnosing illnesses under the supervision of a doctor.
- advanced critical care practitioners are experienced healthcare professionals in the critical care team. They're able to diagnose and treat healthcare needs or refer you to an appropriate specialist as required. They are able to make high-level clinical decisions as part of intensive care doctor-led teams and will often have their own caseload.
- surgical care practitioners are registered non-medical practitioners who have completed a Royal College of Surgeons accredited training programme. They work as a member of the surgical team and are able to perform surgical intervention, pre and post op care under direct supervision of the consultant surgeon
- physicians assistants (anaesthesia) have completed a post-graduate diploma which is recognised by the Royal College of Anaesthetists. They work in an anaesthetic team under the direction and supervision of an anaesthetist. They perform a number of anaesthesia-related roles including:
- pre-and-post operative assessment
- general anaesthesia and procedural sedation procedures