Emerita Tula, CMA – it sounded so official the first time I signed my name in a patient’s chart. It’s been five years since I’ve been officially certified as a medical assistant. Since I’m 27 now, that means I’ve been doing this since I was 22, and I don’t regret one single day of my medical assisting career!
It all started back in high school. I graduated from a little school in Indiana. Being at the top of my class, teachers, counselors, principals, all tried to talk me into going to a university. Four or more years of education to get a “high paying degree,” for which a “high paying job” is not a guarantee afterwads. This was a risk I wasn’t willing to take. I wanted to be in control of my future, and I didn’t want to wait four years to start a career. Some schools even have work programs for high schoolers to start on the path to a medical assisting degree. I know, and am jealous, of some who were able to pursue that method of education. But it’s never too late to get started. Check out local college medical assisting programs. The AAMA (American Association of Medical Assistants) website is a great resource as well.
However, two years at Ivy Tech Community College, and I was ready to begin my career! Working hard in all my classes to get good grades, and working even harder in the doctor’s office during my extership are what got me hired right after I graduated. A career in medical assisting is never boring. In my first office, I grew in my medical knowledge greatly. That is one of the things I love about medical assisting, learning. It never ends, and working along side great doctor, learning is inevitable. The other aspect I enjoy about medical assisting is helping people. My desire to succeed, start my career right away, and to make a difference in people’s lives are what I attribute to my success in this field.
But don’t get me wrong. It’s not all sunshine and daisies. There are down sides to working in a doctor’s office, as there are in all jobs. Many people who have doctor’s appointments aren’t there because they’re feeling well. Sick people can be grumpy and mean, especially when they don’t think they’re getting the needed care. I’ve learned that compassion, and working in a timely manner make a world of difference, and can convert any upset patient into a pleased and grateful customer. Those are the winning traits that employers looks for because when the patients are happy, the bosses are happy!
On average though, the bad experiences are very limited compared to joys that medical assisting brings. Each day usually starts with simple stuff, like preparing the exam rooms for appointments. Then when the patients arrive, taking them to their room to take their vital signs and document the reason for the visit. Sometimes the doctor asks the medical assistant to do extra tests or perform in house labs, or to schedule tests or appointments outside of the office Usually, in the afternoon, calls go out to the patients with future appointments to confirm the times. At the end of the day it’s time to clean up the rooms and put everything back in place. At times this can seem repetetive, but I never get tired of the satisfaction that comes from helping people each and every day. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a medical assistant for five years, and that is what I plan to continue doing for the next five as well!