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Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours

Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours is preferred but not required for applicants. Preference will be given to candidates with direct patient care experiences, particularly those working as nurses or corpsman with higher levels of patient interaction and medical decision-making. Preference will also be given to candidates who have completed greater numbers of hours of experience. Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours obtained outside of the United States health care system will not be considered. Additionally, Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours older than ten years from the time of application will not be considered.

Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours are defined as any of the following: time spent directly participating in hands-on patient care, directly observing interaction between health care providers and patients or health care-related interactions with providers. Hands-on or direct patient care experience is not required by the EMU PA program. While volunteer work in a medical setting and student internships provide valuable experiences, they are not considered in the calculation of an applicant's clinical experience hours. Volunteer work in one of the approved experiences below may be acceptable. Please contact the program for more information.

For your reference, we have compiled the following list of examples of approved and disapproved experiences:

Approved experiences include, but are not limited to:

PA Sim Lab

  • Athletic trainer
  • Chiropractor
  • Chiropractor assistant
  • Clinical laboratory technician
  • Dental assistant
  • Dental hygienist
  • Dietitian
  • Emergency medical technician
  • Emergency room technician
  • Exercise stress test technician
  • Laboratory technologist (medical lab tests)
  • Medical assistant
  • Medical interpreter
  • Medical scribe
  • Mental health therapist
  • Military medical/clinical specialist
  • Nursing assistant or aide
  • Nurse
  • Occupational therapist
  • Occupational therapy assistant
  • Ophthalmic/optometrist assistant
  • Paramedic
  • Patient care technician
  • Pharmaceutical or medical device representative
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Phlebotomist 
  • Physical therapist
  • Physical therapy assistant
  • Radiological technician/technologist
  • Researcher or research assistant (Must involve direct patient interaction involving healthcare issues, such as discussing medication doses and side effects.)
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Social Work - clinical focus
  • Surgical technician
  • Veterinary technician or assistant

Disapproved examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Aerobics instructor
  • Companionship or respite care
  • Lifeguard
  • Hospital greeter
  • Massage therapist
  • Medical office secretary or other clerical/non-clinical positions
  • Patient transporter
  • Personal care or home care: bathing, grooming and assisting with activities of daily living (accepted if provided through an agency)
  • Personal care of a friend/relative
  • Personal trainer
  • Researcher or research assistant (non-medical or not directly clinically related)
  • Shadowing
  • Sitter or patient sitter

Evaluation & Preference

Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours are entered by the applicant on the CASPA application. Refer to the CASPA Instructions and FAQs for information related to documenting experiences. Applicants are not required to send documentation directly to the program unless otherwise instructed. The EMU PA Program will review the CASPA application and determine if the experiences are approved. Please note, the EMU PA Program may also verify whether or not the information entered on the CASPA application is accurate.

Preference in the application evaluation process is given to candidates with direct patient care experiences, particularly those that require specific training, high-level medical decision making and/or registration/licensure.

The highest category, Professional Provider, includes registered nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists and medical corpsman (armed forces).

The next category, Technician, includes radiology technicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, social workers, patient care technicians, physical therapy assistants, dental assistants, CNAs, medical scribes and others.

Preference in the application evaluation process is also given to candidates who have completed a greater number of clinical experience hours.

Questions About Verification of Clinical Experience / Health Care Hours?

Email chhs_paprogram@emich.edu with your position title and description of specific duties.

The Physician Assistant Program is part of the School of Health Promotion & Human Performance, 318 Porter Building, 734.487.0090