By Delena Austin, Medical Assistant Program faculty.
I was the first medical assistant, although I was called the doctor’s “extra pair of hands.” I was quick thinking and did not mind a little blood. I would care for the sick at the physician’s side and assist in any way I could. Whatever the doctor needed, I was there to provide. Alleviating suffering was my calling and I was a compassionate professional. Treating wounds, assisting in surgeries, administering medication, I did it all.
But oh have things changed since my time! Now this extra pair of hands is called a medical assistant. My proud profession now runs the whole ambulatory care facility. We can do everything from greeting and triaging patients to getting their chief complaint and performing any diagnostic test or treatment ordered by the doctor. At the end of the patient’s visit, we can even bill their insurance. We have grown to be indispensable!
There are now many more opportunities for a medical assistant graduate. We are truly everywhere, in all medical specialties and hospitals across this great land. Unlike many professions, our certification is national. We can pick up and work anywhere without the constraints of licensure. We work under the provider’s license and only do as we are directed and trained.
Our scope of practice is now very broad, too. You can never get bored when you are drawing blood, giving injections, answering patient questions and administering ECGs and other diagnostic tests. If you find that you are not interested in the back office, you can specialize in the front office or do billing and coding. There are so many more opportunities then when I was working as “an extra pair of hands.” You can even teach in this proud profession once you have enough experience and education.
Technology has truly lifted medicine up from my time! Computers and electronic health records have forever changed how we provide patient care but one thing is constant, the compassionate and versatile medical assistant. I encourage you to learn more about Macomb Community College’s Medical Assistant Program! It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and graduates are eligible to take the American Association of Medical Assistants’ Certified Medical Assistant certification exam. This is truly something to be proud of as it is the “gold standard” certification for this great profession.
Macomb’s Medical Assistant Program now takes only one calendar year to complete. If you would like more information please email Delena Kay Austin at email@example.com. Next year, you could join the ranks of this proud and important profession as a credentialed medical assistant.