Physician Assistants' perception of care given to pediatric patients without access to adequate medical resources.

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Douglas, Maxwell
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
This thesis describes a qualitative research study used to explore Physician Assistants’ (PAs) perceptions of barriers to providing care for pediatric patients living in rural areas. My objective was to identify any discrepancies in the care PAs are able to provide to their pediatric patients facing significant health care disparities and explore their ideas of ways this may be changed. For this project, I interviewed PAs in Tennessee with five or more years of experience caring for pediatric patients. This study investigated the experiences of PAs who have practiced in rural and/or urban settings that provided insight on any certain or potential barriers to care. After analyzing the data, it was determined that four common themes emerged: education, location, financial stability, and language barriers. These barriers work in conjunction with one another and hinder the quality of care that is provided to pediatric patients in rural or medically underserved areas. Given the education and scope of practice that PAs are equipped with, they have the ability to play a critical role in resolving these issues that children face in rural areas.