Health Care Experiences

Health Care Experience: Hands-on Direct Care

A minimum of 500 hours (within the two years prior to program application submission) of direct hands-on patient care experience in a health service environment is required. Paid health care experience is preferred due to the level of responsibility and duties afforded in these positions. Volunteer health care experience may be considered, but paid, supervised health care experience is strongly encouraged. These hours must be completed by the time the application is submitted and should occur within the two years prior to application submission. Due to the competitive nature of PA admissions, earning additional health-related hours is advised. When evaluating hands-on health care hours, we consider the use of medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiologic concepts in the work experience.

Examples of acceptable health care experience:

Fulfills requirements for direct patient healthcare experience:

Athletic Trainer

Certified Nursing Assistant

Chiropractic assistant

Community Health Worker

Dental assistant

Dental hygienist


Licensed medical massage therapist

Licensed Practical Nurse

Medical Assistant

Medical Tech with patient care experience

Mental Health aide

Mental Health Counselor

Military Corpsman/Medic



Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapy Aide

Optometric Technician

Patient Care Technician

Peace Corp or other cross cultural health care experience


Pharmacy Tech


Physical Therapist

Physical Therapy Aide

Radiology Technician/Diagnostic Imaging

Registered Behaviour Technician

Research with patient contact

Respiratory Therapist

Scribe with patient care

Social Worker

Ultrasound Technologist

Examples of experience that does not fulfill direct patient healthcare experience:

CPR or ACLS instructor

Insurance clerk

Life guard

Patient Sitter

Patient transporter

Pharmaceutical representative

Research with no patient care contact

Shadowing health providers

Ski patroller

Student clinical experience- student nurse, student EMT, student athletic trainer, or other

health care student

Unit Clerk

Veterinarian Technician/Assistant

Wilderness medicine instructor