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Hiring a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner? Search for 8 Key Traits

  • Article by:Health Career Center

A Physician Assistant (PA) or Nurse Practitioner (NP) is like a Swiss Army knife: a good one can tackle a wide variety of tasks. That’s especially important today, as the booming patient population puts more responsibility on assistants and nurses than ever before.

To handle the diverse range of duties that come their way, these caregivers need a rare combination of sought-after qualities. Select International Healthcare, a well-known employee screening organization, recently listed the eight most important ones on their blog.

What are they? See below to find out. Then, to find the PA or NP with the perfect combination of qualities for your organization, visit

1. They’re good at making patients feel comfortable

First and foremost, PAs and NPs must be patient-focused. Of course, that means providing top-quality care for each and every patient they see. But beyond that, it also means making those patients feel comfortable and at-ease by providing compassionate, sensitive care while displaying a good attitude.

2. They work best in a team setting

The shift to outcomes-measured care will continue to put an added emphasis on caregivers’ ability to work as a team. This will require everyone, PAs and NPs included, to sharpen their communication skills so they can work together effectively in a collaborative care model.

3. They can handle change and uncertainty

In healthcare, the one thing you can always count on is change. PAs and NPs are constantly moving between different teams with their own unique policies, and juggling schedules that can vary greatly from week to week. Their ability to adapt will be vital to your organization’s success.

4. They’re able to make quick, confident decisions

With so much patient information at their fingertips, PAs and NPs must be able to efficiently sort through the facts and make smart decisions on the best treatment course for each patient. In a hectic hospital environment where physicians aren’t always available to offer guidance, PAs and NPs often have to be self-assured enough to make tough calls on their own.

5. They take responsibility for those decisions

The freedom to make difficult decisions comes with a price. For PAs and NPs, that price is taking responsibility when those decisions turn out wrong. Good candidates should demonstrate that they take accountability for mistakes, instead of blaming them on the situation (or even worse, their patients).

6. They aren’t afraid to lead

During instances when PAs and NPs must stand in for physicians who are busy elsewhere, it’s important that they inspire confidence in the people around them. In other words, they need to possess leadership skills, poise, and listening abilities.

7. They have strong time management skills

Being a PA or an NP is a juggling act. One moment they’re managing medications for dozens of people on their floor. The next, they’re dealing with an unruly patient who needs around-the-clock attention. It takes a special kind of professional to keep all of these important tasks organized, and ensure that none of them is forgotten.

8. They can handle tough criticism

In the end, all that matters is what is best for the patient. A strong PA or NP will have no problem putting their feelings aside, and accepting constructive critiques from superiors and patients alike. Being easily offended only serves to distract from the task at hand—and, at worst, can negatively impact the patient experience.





The information in this article originally appeared on To read the original article, click here.