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Spotlight on Medical Assistants

I blew it. I need to do a shout out apology to all you students getting medical assisting training. Last week was Medical Assistants Recognition Week and I was negligent in mentioning it. Well, here is my tribute to you.

Medical assistants are on the frontlines everyday as the guardians of the doctors’ offices. They make appointments, take care of co-pay transactions, take patients’ vitals, interpret chicken scratch notes written by distracted doctors and brave sniffling, sneezing bacteria carriers every winter. Not only do they have to be adept at fax machines and complex computer programs, but they have to act with grace while wearing pajamas and ugly shoes. Bravo!

In the Tahlequah Daily Press, staff writer Teddye Snell highlights the importance of medical assistants to the health care industry. “’Medical assistants are essential for an office medical practice in today’s world,’ said Dr. Paul Hobbs, M.D., for Tahlequah Medical Group. ‘They are specially trained to make our jobs easier.’”

Not only do medical assistants regulate doctors’ offices, but they are also vital in many specialty fields. Snell explains, “medical assistants are also used in specialty fields, including orthopedics, podiatry and ophthalmology.

“’Several specialties specifically train staff to perform various tasks and procedures,’ said Valerie Rogers, chief nurse executive at Cherokee Nation Hastings Hospitals. ‘To become a certified medical assistant, formal training is required, although many medical assistants undergo on-the-job training from the physician, and work for many years and function extremely well. In the hospital setting, we have a few certified medical assistants, although they function in the role of a nursing assistant.’”

Snell also interviewed a current MA, Amber Camp, who works for the Tahlequah Medical Group. Camp gives this advice: “It’s important you have good people skills… More often than not, the people you deal with aren’t feeling well, and may not be on their best behavior. You have to be pleasant, and do your best to put them at ease. You can’t be squeamish, either. This isn’t a job for you if bodily fluids bug you.” Camp further adds that it’s important to get a good education. “There is so much you have to learn, including testing, lab results, etc., and it’s important you have a working knowledge of these things. I’m a quick study, but it’s best to stay in school.”

So thank you all you current MA’s and those in a medical assisting college. Without you our medical costs would go up, our doctor’s appointments would take longer and we’d be even more nervous when our kids get sick or hurt.

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