Health Provider Assistant

Activities, Skills and Knowledge

Most Health Provider Assistants encounter addictions and related issues in the course of their work. For more details see Physician and Nurse Practitioner/Nurse.

Health Provider Assistants include:

  • Physician Assistants
  • Medical Assistants
  • Nurse Assistants

They may:

  • Screen patients
  • Provide brief talking interventions
  • Administer medical tests

Physician Assistants have significant additional responsibilities while working with Physicians, among them conducting physical exams and writing prescriptions.

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is a growing evidence-based practice in the healthcare industry. Health Provider Assistants are key to implementing SBIRT.

Educational Requirements

Physician's Assistants: Bachelor's degree and further work (usually a Master's) in Physician Assistance required.

Nurse Assistants: May have a degree, or certain coursework

Medical Assistants: May have a degree

The Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), is a multidisciplinary organization of health care professionals dedicated to improving education in the care of individuals with substance abuse problems, including physicians, nurses, social workers, dentists, psychologists, public health practitioners, substance abuse specialists, physician assistants, allied health professionals and others. Find resources for assistants there.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

Opportunities for Advancement

As healthcare moves more and more toward integrated teams providing comprehensive care, the role of health provider assistants is growing.

Health provider assistants can grow to become:

  • Physician Assistants: job opportunities are expected to continue growing
  • Nurse Assistants: job opportunities are expected to continue growing
  • Medical Assistants:  job opportunities are expected to continue growing