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Spotlight on Medical Assistants

I blew it.1 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 every day 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 also 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 healthcare industry.2  “‘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 and aspiring Medical Assistants. 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.

Medical Assistant Training at Unitek College

While some choose Medical Assisting as a lifelong career, others use it to gain invaluable experience and help them enter other careers. Even though individual goals may differ, Medical Assistants provide a vital service and ultimately better the community around them.

At Unitek College, we seek to prepare students for entry-level employment as Medical Assistants through our Medical Assisting program. Above all else, we strive to be accessible and inclusive, and we are eager to help others take charge of their future.

Currently, Unitek maintains six campuses in Northern California and one in Southern California. All of these locations offer a comprehensive Medical Assisting program which can be completed in as little as 9 months. For more information about Unitek’s Medical Assistant program, please choose your desired campus and find their contact information here.



1 This Unitek blog post was originally published on October 25, 2011.

2 To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit