Program Details

Program Overview

Premier Emergency Medical Specialists (PEMS) is a group of outstanding emergency medicine physicians located in Arizona's East Valley.  PEMS provides emergency medicine care at Chandler Regional Medical Center and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center.  They also sponsor our EMPRA Program at both hospitals. EMPRA stands for Emergency Medical Physician Record Assistant.

Program Objective

The objective of the EMPRA Program is to expedite patient flow through the Emergency Department and to decrease the duration of individual patient visits. The time spent by a physician writing a patient’s history and physical, test results, discharge instructions and prescriptions is, on average, equal to the actual time spent with the patient.  In other words, fifty percent of a physician’s time is spent writing.  The PRA, therefore can help facilitate patient flow by recording the patient-provider interaction, managing and recording test results, and keeping the physician updated on a patient's status. 

As a PRA in the Emergency Department, you will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Recording the physician-patient interactions
  • Tracking progress of patients through the ED, ensuring that tests are being completed on schedule
  • Updating physicians on patient needs as well as completed test results
  • Obtaining old tests, EKG's, and hospital visit records for physicians
  • Assisting nurses/ancillary staff with general upkeep and tidiness of the ED
  • As a bonus, as a PRA, you will have to opportunity to observe many procedures performed in the ED:
    • Lumbar punctures
    • Central line placements
    • Intubations
    • Chest tube insertions


Program Training

New-Hire PRAs are intensively trained, continuously supervised, and regularly evaluated by the emergency physicians, Chief PRAs, and Trainer PRAs. Due to the large body of knowledge required, in-class training along with on-site training is provided for every PRA.  All training must be completed within 1 month of attending a new-hire Dignity Health Hospital Orientation.  After training, a 3-month probationary period is necessary to ensure that the personalities and abilities of the new hires, fully integrate with the complex workings of the Emergency Department.

Program Requirements

The EMPRA Program requires responsible, self-motivated, hard-working, mature, and intellectual individuals possessing self-confidence, initiative, and the ability to work cheerfully and cooperatively with a wide variety of people in stressful situations. 

A PRA must have neat and legible handwriting, proficient typing speed, and should be able to assimilate patient information in a clear and coherent manner. 

Knowledge of medical techniques and terminology is highly encouraged. This information is provided during on the job training, but new hires must pass a terminology exam to complete their training. 

A Part-Time PRA must commit to working 32 hours per 2 weeks for at least 9 months excluding the 2-3 month training period.  

A Full-Time PRA must commit to working 40 hours per weeks for at least 9 months excluding the 2-3 month training period. The ER is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year -- there are lots of different shifts available. 

Lastly, a PRA must be at least 18 years of age or have completed their freshman year of college.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of being a PRA? 
PRAs have the phenomenal opportunity to watch procedures like lumbar punctures, interact with other medical specialties like cardiology, work with a devoted and lively team of health care providers, and gain a better understanding of how the medical environment works no matter what your future career plans are.

What is the hourly pay? 
The hourly pay rate is $11.00.

What are PRA schedules like? 
Once training is completed, Part-Time PRAs are expected to work a minimum of 64 hours a month (Full-Times work 40 hours per week).

Shifts are comprised of 7-10 hour days subject to slight variation. Generally, the shifts are as follows:

  • 6a-1p, 8a-4p, 9a-7p, 1p-8p, 4p-12a, 6p-2a, 8p-6a

When does the PEMS EMPRA Program hire? 
We typically hire for the program twice a year.  As our PRAs are typically students who enter professional training programs, graduate programs, and other careers, the hiring period is March/April for Spring and November/December for Winter.  If you are interested in our program, please submit an application using our online process.  If your application is submitted during the off-season, your application will be retained for future hiring events.