Day in the Life of…a Medical Assistant
It’s 8 a.m., and there is a quiet inside Quality Women’s Care at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines. Ana Herrera, decked in blue scrubs, prepares an examining room inside the OB/GYN (Obstetrics and Gynecology) office for an incoming patient. She hangs up a gown and lays out instruments the doctor will use for a Pap smear.
A colposcopy also is scheduled, so she must set up an area with iodine, tubes and necessary instruments for the biopsy of another patient. Herrera, a graduate from the medical assisting certificate program at Broward College, anticipates a busy day right up until 5 p.m., but the mother of three wouldn’t have it any other way, welcoming those sitting in the waiting room with a smile.
A Medical Assistant is a Key Player
Herrera turned an internship into a full-time job at the OB/GYN office. There she plays a pivotal role when it comes to patient care. As a medical assistant Herrera is one of the first points of contacts with the patients, so she tries to ease concerns and helps them feel comfortable with her friendly face. This isn’t always easy considering she is often the one poking them and taking their blood.
Speaking of taking blood, she is responsible for more than just emotional support to patients including taking blood, performing injections on a regular basis, handling lab ordering on behalf of the doctors, helping perform in-office procedures, and even sending out prescriptions to the pharmacy. Herrera will also provide scripts for mammograms and ultrasounds that go to the hospital and radiology.
With all the exciting parts of her job, she does warn those interested in pursuing the occupation to be ready to do paperwork…lots of paperwork. Herrera is thankful that documents including charts are easily accessible electronically.
Possibilities Are Endless
There are many avenues one can take in medical assisting, and OB/GYN among them. Therefore, specific responsibilities may vary. Herrera felt confident to perform her job functions thanks to the foundation and education she received at Broward College.
“It’s well-rounded at BC, so once you come out into the job market, you are ready,” she said. “My tip would be to remain flexible and open to learn the new developments in the field. Broward College teaches you the basics, but it’s important to learn as much as you can once you enter a specialty. Other than that, you will be prepared for a rewarding career.”
What do you do if you’re interested?
As you can tell, medical assistants play a crucial part of the daily operations of healthcare facilities. There also is a growing need to fill positions due to an aging population and continual technological advances. So if Herrera’s recount gets you excited about medical assisting, find out more about the Broward College program, which can be completed in only 10 months.
The Job Shadow tool within the Career Center website is a great tool to explore hundreds of career videos and more.