A Medical Assistant career opens the doors to working in almost any type of healthcare facility. On a daily basis, Medical Assistants provide essential support for doctors and nurses, often acting as the first point of contact for patients. Learn from an Arizona College graduate about her experience as a medical assistant.
The Work of a Medical Assistant
Jasmyn Chavez, Arizona College Medical Assisting Graduate
“My job as a Medical Assistant changes constantly. I never really have a “typical” workday, since I see a variety of different things each day. My clinic accepts scheduled patients as well as walk-ins, which tends to make things very busy for me and the other Medical Assistants and staff. While things can get a little hectic at times, the fast pace makes for an exciting workday with rarely a dull moment – which I love!
Before patients even arrive, I am busy cleaning and sterilizing exam rooms and equipment that the doctors and nurses will use. I pull patients’ charts, and I make sure insurance information is current. I’m responsible for submitting new and updated insurance data to the correct place, and I also help with sending clients’ bills and invoices.
Usually, I’m the first person who sees a patient after check-in. I show patients to their rooms, and then I ask them a number of questions to help record and update their medical histories before the nurse or doctor sees them. This involves entering data into an electronic system. I take their vitals, such as blood pressure and temperature, and make sure I get a good idea of why they have come for their visit — what symptoms they’re experiencing, and any concerns the doctor should be aware of.
Medical Assistants give lots of injections and perform many blood draws. We prepare specimens such as blood and urine for laboratory analysis, and even do basic laboratory tests. I’ve been able to assist doctors in many small procedures, and it’s very interesting to watch and learn during each one.
After the doctors are finished seeing each patient, I’ll check in with them about any medications they are taking. I answer their questions about ongoing care, give instructions for how to take new medications, and call in prescriptions to pharmacies.
One of the best things about being a Medical Assistant is the wide variety of work I do. Medical Assistants have the opportunity to practice seeing patients in many different medical specialties, from dermatology to podiatry to obstetrics to optometry.
This job was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but all of the experience I’ve gained while working here has been great! I have even decided, because I love the field so much, that I want to continue in my education and become a Physician’s Assistant.”
Preparing for this day
“I am really happy I made the choice to become a Medical Assistant. I thought it would be a good fit since I love working with people and I’ve always been interested in medicine, and the Medical Assistant program at Arizona College gave me the perfect opportunity to confirm that. I got lots of hands-on practice for the practical skills I learned in the classroom, both through the laboratory at school and through a great externship, and I felt confident and prepared when I started my first job.
The flexible schedule and supportive environment at Arizona College were just what I was looking for in a Medical Assistant program. The faculty and staff provided just the right amount of guidance and helped me follow my dreams of becoming a Medical Assistant. Because I love the field so much, I want to continue my education and become a Physician’s Assistant. If Arizona College ever offers that program I would definitely go back!”
First Steps to Become a Medical Assistant
Arizona College currently offers two Medical Assistant Programs – the Medical Assistant Degree Program and the Medical Assistant Diploma Program. Both accredited programs prepare students for a career as a Medical Assistant by providing the hands-on training, lab experience, and courses that cover administrative work as well as patient care. After completing the Medical Assisting Degree Program, students are fully prepared to earn their certification and begin applying for Medical Assistant positions.
Contact an Arizona College admissions representative by filling out the Request Information form, and learn exactly what you need to start working as a Medical Assistant.