Medical Assistants Recognition Week Comes to a Close

Medical Assistants are the heart of healthcare. They are there to provide a comforting presence to their patients, and assist the medical team.  Being a medical assistant is a challenging and rewarding career, but before one can become a Certified Medical Assistant, they must learn the skills necessary to provide their patients with the best care. 

At Platt College we get the opportunity to teach and guide some of the most amazing students. Being that this past week was Medical Assistant Recognition Week, we took the time to talk to some of our Medical Assisting students about their choice of career path.

When asked, Platt students had many different reasons why they chose the Medical Assisting program.  Reasons like Mikayla Rosado, Medical Assisting student at our Lawton campus. “I chose medical assisting because I wanted to help people,” says Rosado. She was a little intimidated by nursing, so she chose to get started as a Medical Assistant, with the option to go back and become a nurse once she feels more comfortable in the field.  Medical Assisting student at our Central Oklahoma City campus, Caroline Villanueva, chose Medical Assisting because it was a desire for her. “I have been in the medical field for 15+ years and I love it,” says Villanueva. “I wanted to expand my career.” MA student David Ortega at our North Oklahoma City campus, chose Medical Assisting because he wanted to “feel proud of [his] job and help people.”

Training to be a medical assistant can be a demanding, but fulfilling endeavor. While there are many reasons that would make someone a great medical assistant. We asked some of our MA students what they would say to someone who’s thinking about a career in the field. Candice Selfridge from our Tulsa campus said that a career in Medical Assisting is “worth it”.  “This program will change your life,” says Selfridge. “It did mine.” MA student, Teresa Reyes, from our Lawton campus feels that if someone really likes the healthcare field, then they should “just do it.” In addition, Reyes boasts, “Platt College is a good college to do it at. It’s a good program, but people need to set up priorities if they really want to succeed.”

The Medical Assistants Recognition Week celebrations may have come to an end, but we continue to be extremely proud of all of our students in the Medical Assisting program at each of our Platt College campuses. They’re on-going success will always remain our top priority, as it is for every one of our Platt College students.

Are you interested in becoming a medical assistant? Fill out the form below to request info about the Medical Assisting program at the campus closest to you.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – Platt College

Top 5 Reasons You’ll Make a Great Medical Assistant

Careers in healthcare are on the rise, and medical assisting continues to be projected as one of the fastest growing occupations. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career outlook for medical assistants is quite impressive. In fact, it’s projected to have a much faster than average job growth all the way through to the year 2024. From 2014 to 2024, it is expected that medical assistant employment will grow by 23%. As a result of this, you may be asking yourself – would I make a good medical assistant?

There are many traits that contribute to a person being successful as a medical assistant. Take a look at the top five reasons you’ll make a great medical assistant.

You are a Good Listener.

Listening is essential in the healthcare field. During the course of your day, you will need to listen to the needs and concerns of your patients and extract vital information to relay to the medical team. Not only will you be expected to listen to your patients, but you will also need to listen to doctors and nurses. You must be able to take instructions from them for multiple patients at a time and execute those directions properly. This is another vital skill that requires you to be able to listen carefully.

You are Compassionate. 

As a medical assistant, you are going to have patients that are experiencing many different emotions and it is an essential part of your job to be there to comfort and support them.  In some cases, your patients may be in pain or have terminal conditions that require a high level of compassion and empathy.

You Love Helping People.

 There is hardly a greater field, than healthcare for a caring person who loves to help people. As a medical assistant, you have the opportunity to have a positive impact on people every day.  Whether you are taking a patient’s history, performing a blood draw or helping a patient understand their condition, what you do really matters and has an ultimate effect on the patient’s well-being.

You Work Well Under Pressure.

Dealing with patients that have a serious illnesses, or life threatening injuries, is not easy. Being able to maintain your professional demeanor while you are under intense pressure is essential to good patient care.  In addition, working in a busy medical office can get quite hectic.  Being a medical assistant requires someone who is patient, tolerant, and in-control even when under pressure.

You are a Team Player.

 Working in healthcare means being a part of a team that includes doctors, specialists, nurses, administrators, and more. The ability to work well as a team is an integral part of being a medical assistant.  You will need to be able to work with different personalities and different skill levels in an effort to provide your patients with the most comprehensive care. Providers rely heavily upon a strong team of professionals to help everything run smoothly.

Does this sound like you? While you may not possess all of these traits yet, you can get there. If you’re ready to start your healthcare career training, we’re here to help. Check out the Medical Assisting program at Platt College today to find the campus closest to you.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – Platt College

Spotlight on a Graduate: Erika Brown

Erika Brown began her educational journey after high school at Cameron University as a Graphic Design/Business major, but being a single mother with 2 kids to support on her own, Brown needed “something steady”. She wanted a career she could be proud of. “I want to set a good example for my kids and be able to provide for them since it’s just me.” Brown appreciated the opportunities that a medical assisting program like the one at Platt College could offer.  Additionally she had the go ahead from her mother who attended the pharmacy tech program at Platt many years ago and said that Brown would “love it because the staff is awesome and the instructors really care.”

We interviewed Erika about her time at Platt and the experiences she had in this Spotlight on a Graduate:

What makes Platt College special?Erika-Brown---MA-edit

EB: The instructors make it special.  The instructors and staff care and take extra time to help you succeed. Ms. Angie Gibbs and Miss Nadine Balser-Ayers are my favorite instructors because they pushed me even when I didn’t think I could do it.

What have you learned that made a difference to you?

EB: I learned a better understanding of how an office works and how to treat patients.  I learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  You never know what someone might be going through so you need to have compassion.

Tell us about a great experience you had at Platt?

EB: Miss Angie took a group of us to Willow Rehab Center to do injections and there was this patient, she was an older lady. She couldn’t speak and was scared because she wasn’t used to having a lot of people around her.  I was the one who had to calm her down, so that she could get her injection. I was able to do that and she was even happy afterwards. It was a great moment because I was able to talk to her and make her feel less scared.

What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

EB: My greatest challenge was overcoming the fear of failing.  I had to learn to believe in myself and when I did, I shocked myself with A’s and B’s instead of failing!

What do you plan to do after graduation?

EB: I had planned to go right into the LPN program, but I decided to go to work in an office first and get some more experience and then go into the LPN program at Platt next year.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

EB: I see myself graduated from the Practical Nursing program at Platt College, working at an OB/GYN office or Family Practice. I would also like to work as a floater nurse and try different specialties.

What advice would you give incoming students?

EB: Don’t Quit! We all have our struggles and doubts, but just keep going. The first 3 months is the hardest, but when you get to the end, you will be so proud and there are people there to help you along the way.  There are so many opportunities I have now! I am so glad that I made the choice to come to Platt and become a Medical Assistant.

Since completing the Medical Assisting/Phlebotomy program, Brown has gone on to take her certification tests and is now a Registered Medical Assistant and Registered Phlebotomist. She was offered a position at East Lawton Neighborhood Family Clinic, where she did her clinicals. “I am extremely blessed to have a job and work at a place I love and be able to support my family as well.”

If you’re interested in becoming a Medical Assistant or getting started on your career training in any of the programs we offer at Platt College click here to fill out the contact us form and request information.

Written by: Jennifer Robinson, Social Media Coordinator/Blog Editor – Platt College

Land the Right Medical Assistant Job for You

Before moving to Fort Worth, I was gainfully employed as a medical assistant in Austin, Texas. The family practice employed five providers in total, three physicians and two nurse practitioners. I look back on this time fondly, as I couldn’t have found a better fit to start my career. The work was intriguing and fulfilling. I learned about differing techniques, odd medical anomalies, the inner workings of insurance companies, countless lessons on people in general, and so much more. While my professional skills and personality made me the right candidate for the position in that office, I like to think my prep work helped get my foot in the door. These are the top five things helped me land the right Medical Assistant job for me.

  1. Be a detective. Before an interview, find out everything you can about the practice. Read reviews on Yelp. Look over the company website. I even Facebook and LinkedIn stalked people that worked there after the first interview. You can prepare a list of questions for your interviewer not only to gain vital information on the position, but also to show that you care about the role. Learn about the providers. The practitioner(s) you are supporting can drastically change your job description. At one practice, the Medical Assistants were assigned to different providers daily. One Nurse Practitioner wanted me to get in and out of the rooms with little more information than the patient’s vitals and medication lists. She would get very agitated if I spent more than 5 minutes with the patient. Another doctor wanted a full medical history with vitals taken and labs processed before she entered the room. The best decision is made when you know the job, what is expected of you, and the medical personnel you will support.
  2. Know your ideal position. Some openings for Medical Assistants are desk jobs. The position requires very little face to face interaction with patients. They need someone to solely process referrals or prescription refills. Another position may have the MA only rooming patients. Most places I came across had a mix of both, but know what you want to do or are okay with doing before wasting everyone’s time. I once attended an interview with a vague job description at an allergy clinic. When I found out the position entailed being cooped up in a lab mixing homeopathic allergy tonics and Fedexing them to patients, I was no longer interested.
  3. Identify your values and trust what your gut tells you. If you don’t believe in homeopathy, you shouldn’t work for an office whose main course of treatment is homeopathy. Watch how the leaders treat other employees. If the thought of an abrasive personality in a manager makes you ill, don’t take the job. You will quit or be miserable, which would ruin an otherwise fun, interesting, and gratifying career. After moving from Austin, I hastily accepted a position with a family practice in a well-to-do neighborhood. While it was called a family practice, it was one stop shopping for some of the patients. While I was occupied with little Johnnie’s strep throat, Mrs. Cooper scowled impatiently across the lobby to get her Botox injections. My next patient would be getting his HCG injection equipment.  I was supposed to teach him how to inject the horse hormones to stave off hunger on a 500 calorie per day diet. I was annoyed by the fact that doctors were incorporating beauty treatments at a family practice, but I was horrified that a doctor’s office would embrace a dangerous and inefficient weight loss scam like the HCG diet. The practice manager explained to me that the patients wanted these things, so we had to comply to keep their business. I could not sell gimmicky healthcare and found a new job quickly.
  4. Volunteer in a medical environment. Start NOW. Lack of job experience will make a resume sparse and sad, but a year of volunteering in a hospital or nursing home can beef up the CV and get your foot in the door for an interview. This will also give you the opportunity to network in the medical community. I was a birth doula for a fantastic organization that helped women with little or no support when having a baby. It was fun, rewarding, and later got me into an amazing practice.
  5. Smile. Of course you smile when meeting for interviews, but amp it up.  Smile when you make the calls. Smile at patients in waiting rooms. Smile at the receptionist; she will hopefully be a future coworker. Smiling lowers stress, releases neurotransmitters responsible for euphoria, and makes you look more attractive and sincere. Don’t force it. If you aren’t in a cheerful mood, reference something in your mind that makes you grin. Practice smiling. I’m not making this up. Google it!

To find your ideal Medical Assistant position, be as prepared as possible. Check out the office, people, and philosophies of the practice to verify this is a position you want. Volunteer to network, look better on paper, and feel like a decent human being. Then SMILE because you will find the best opportunity for you.

Written by: Megan McCatty, IT Administrative Assistant – Ancora Education