Paloma Walker, CMA – Walkers help people. That is my family motto. We work to make that ring true in every aspect of our lives. A focus on helping others is why my husband and I both chose careers in the medical field. I have been certified as a medical assistant for 5 years, and working as a medical assistant for 6 years.
I love what I do. Medical assisting offers a variety of daily work that is unseen in other career choices. Every day is different, which is a benefit and a challenge at times. I do administrative duties such as filing, working with insurance companies, answering phones, and much more. I also get to do hands on clinical work with patients such as vital signs, injections, and phlebotomy to name a few. I work side by side with physicians and other healthcare professionals to make sure the patient is well cared for and has an enjoyable experience. I have had the opportunity to work with three different medical offices as they transitioned to electronic medical records. It is exciting to see the healthcare field changing and growing technologically and to be such a close part of that advancement! At the current office I work at I had the privilege of becoming the EMR superuser. This meant I underwent special training to help ease the physicians and staff into this transition. Not to mention the joy I find in interacting with patients, aiding them to become well, or providing them comfort when I can’t. I have been able to connect to patients and their families and form lasting bonds as I watch them grow and develop. Every day brings such varied and new opportunities and experiences.
I graduated from high school at the top of my class. I was pressured to go to a university to pursue an advanced degree of some sort. I had already seen many of my older classmates begin college careers that they did not finish, simply because did not have the knowledge base to figure out what they really wanted to do with their life. I knew that I wanted to help people. So I began attending Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana for an Associate Degree in medical assisting. I focused on my studies, and especially on my externship which was in a family practice office. My hard work paid off, and I was hired at the office before I graduated or became certified.
I am 27 years of age, and have been employed as a medical assistant since I was 21. I have worked in family practice, internal medicine, urgent care, and currently I am working in a concierge office. It has been a wonderful experience to work with pediatrics to geriatrics. I value the education and knowledge I have gained. These have helped to lead me to my next goal of becoming a registered nurse. I see the benefit of my previous experience already in my nursing classes and clinical rotations. Not only the clinical skills, but having the administrative knowledge is invaluable.
If you are interested in a career where you are challenged daily and have the opportunity to help others, medical assisting may be right for you. Contacting local colleges to learn about their programs and requirements is a great place to start. Some have the option of graduating with a certificate in medical assisting as opposed to a two year degree. This would allow you to jump right into the workforce. I would start my medical assisting education while I was still in high school if I could go back. Talking to your school guidance counselor about your options and checking out the AMAA website are both wonderful references.
In five years I will be a nurse, with a few years experience under my belt already. I will still be in the medical field working side by side with the physicians and other medical staff to improve the lives of my patients. Although I do not know exactly where I may be in five years, I do know I can owe it my invaluable experience and opportunities that I have had as a certified medical assistant.