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Ideas! Ideas! Ideas! W/ Some Encouragement

I am a recent graduate of a wonderful medical assistant program and have just taken a position as the Director of Career Services with another fantastic allied health institute here in my area. I am just wanting a few ideas on technique, tricks and tools that I can use to inspire aspiring medical assistants as they go out on their externships and enter the job market. I also would like ideas on what your career counselor/job placement department did to get you where you are today as well as what they did not do. I am adamant about the medical assistant profession and believe that we are an integral part of the healthcare field. Please share your ideas with me about externship sites and your career counselor (good & bad) Thank you for your time as I embark on this endeavor to help mold our future medical assistants of tomorrow.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: Medical Assistant

Are You Still In School? No

Are You Working? Yes

Re: Ideas! Ideas! Ideas! W/ Some Encouragement

OK, here is some feedback, a lot of it-my externship stunk because I was talked into doing it at a busy family practice office that didn't want anymore students from my lousy school because of past trouble with some. You go into a situation like that, totally unwanted and expected to screw up and are aware of it, then you'll see you have to "prove" yourself by
being one of those phony suck-ups, an eager beaver who jumps right in. I think it needs to be pointed out that if you are on the shy, reserved side that a place like that will eat you alive. Medical assisting is NOT for wallflowers, not unless you are lucky enough to find an externship site that will allow you to ease into things, yet at the same time not let you stand around and wait to be told what to do. That's an easy thing that can happen at a place you weren't wanted at. After a while you are totally ignored because you are "just the student", and can miss out on doing a lot. These office managers have to realize that just because a student isn't the pushy, aggressive type does NOT mean they are a poor worker who won't make a good MA.
So my suggestion to site coordinators is to try to closely match the student's personality to the place that they want to go to. Not all MAs are the busy-doctor's-office type. There are all sorts of areas that MAs can go into and they need to be made aware of that DURING their training. In my school they talked about nothing but doctor's offices, never about lab work, hospital departments, home care etc. So now there are a bunch of ex students applying for the same jobs at doctor's office and most of them not getting anywhere.
My suggestion for office managers is to alert the staff to "Keep the student busy". All procedures coming in (blood draws,EKGs,injections,etc) should be saved for the student to be able to do to get in the practice. Don't assume the student doesn't want to do them just because she isn't exclaiming "Let me do it!".
As for my school's "career coordinator"-don't get me started. At the place I was, this person may be responsible for several firings. Good people were let go in order for a "change" to take place and none did, the school has gone even more downhill. The dumb powers-that-be don't realize that a series of firings makes a school look B-A-D. This same person only attempts to help students that just finished their externship find jobs, but then every 12 weeks new ones finish and then it is their turn, and the others before them are left on the wayside. That's probably the norm at all schools. I myself want no help from her because she is responsible for 2 classmates losing jobs due to her informing their employers of their health problems (one being a high risk pregnancy). In other words, she disclosed personal medical information which of course is a violation of HIPAA.
My advice for anyone considering going into medical assisting-look into it thoroughly. Don't just listen to the admissions officer. It's their job to get you in there. Talk to ex students (at a private school, they will be the ones out of uniforms, in the computer lab, applying for jobs. Otherwise, ask the program director to hook you up with someone) and try to find out the facts as to how many of them are working (not to mention what the classes
are REALLY like). Don't turn a deaf ear to the ones having a lot of trouble finding a job. NEVER tell yourself "Well, I will be one of the lucky ones and get a job fast." A good attitude helps but you have to be realistic. Talk to the job coordinator BEFORE signing any loans and ask them to be blunt on the job prospects. It isn't easy writing out a check every month for a lot of medical training that ended up going nowhere.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: RMA

Are You Still In School? Finished in Feb.

Are You Working? Not anymore