My name is Shawn Bond, I’m an orthopedic physician assistant. I specialized in spine care. I went to the PA program at the University of Southern California, I have a master’s degree in science, and I’ve been working as a physician assistant for 16 years.
A physician assistant is an-an asset to the physician, to the practice, to assist the doctors during the procedures themselves as far as the care of patients of course, pre-operative, intraoperative meaning during the hospital stay, rounding on the patients make sure the patients are well taken care of, checking them physically, ordering again, laboratory tests, blood works as necessary, and then upon discharge, following the patients at home, make sure that the entire care that we provide to the patient from the pre-surgery, during surgery, post-surgery is taken care of and taken back to the office, and they can follow up the physicians at that point.
Obviously, what brings a patient in to see us initially is pain, but it’s not necessarily pain in that. Not every patient complaints of back pain. Some of them maybe have more neurological symptoms, the numbing, or tingling, or weakness of the extremities. That’s a common complaint that patients come in to see us with.
Something that we ask all patients to do, every visit that they come in, we ask them to fill out a pain scale. On a scale of zero to 10, where are you on your-your current visit, or were you in general over the last several days, two weeks. What that helps us do, is determined really the severity of the issue. It determine one, if they require surgery, or two, what kind of treatment do they require. And in a lot of it is based on, not only their exam. Are they weak? Are they numb? But also based on their pain.
Our goal is not necessarily to get everybody to a zero, and we actually know that that’s not gonna likely happen. We’re open with patients about that, if you came in to see us with uh, an eight, and we could reduce your pain conservatively or with surgery, we make them reduce that pain to a three. Well then our job is to try to reduce patients’ pain from something that they consider to be intolerable to something that is comfortable, and something they can live with. And so the pain scale allow us to not only determine the course of action that we need to take, how aggressive we need to be with that, but are we accomplishing our goals.
In addition to that, it is obviously our job to make sure that you will come through the surgery safely. And I’m not referring to surgical problems, I’m referring to medical issues. We’re gonna get some blood work on you. We’re gonna get an EKG on you, we´re gonna listen to your heart, we’re gonna listen to your lungs.