This active Medical Assistant Web Forum is maintained by Danni R., former Certified Medical Assistant, who has made her mark on the Internet by reaching thousands of medical assistant students, graduates and experienced medical assistants coast to coast through her well known websites and web forums dedicated to ALL medical assistants in the USA and abroad. Many medical assistant students and professionals have come and gone, leaving posts about their dreams, concerns and aspirations. Many reached out whenever possible to lend a helping hand to their peers in the true spirit of this profession! Thank you to all who have supported and contributed to this very active Medical Assistant Web Forum.

Return to Website

Medical Assistant Web Forum

Our Motto: "If Medical Assistants post it - Medical Assistants will reply!"

Medical Assistant Web Forum
Start a New Topic 
First Day

Hello everyone, It has been awhile since I have been here. Well, I am in my last Quarter at school. I start my externship next week at a Doctor's office. I just wanted some advice on to do a good job on my 1st day, Like how should I act, what should I do and not do. Mind you, I will be extremly nervous.
So please give me some pointers, to get a good grade on externship.
Thanx, Suzanne

Your Professional Title/Credentials: Med. Assis. Student

Are You Still In School? Yes

Are You Working? NO

Re: First Day

Good Luck!

Just have fun. I just finished my externship in December. The first few days for me I just watched what everyone did so I knew a little bit of how the office ran. Little by little they gave me more to do and I really learned a lot from it. I know it is easier said than done but try not to be nervous about it and if you have questions or want to try something just ask "Hey do you think it would be ok if I observed how that is done" more than likely they will say sure, that is why you are here! I was hired on where I did my internship at but it is a temp job so I am started to look other places. When they hired me one of the nurse said "I can't believe you ever thought you were going to leave, you showed up and everyone fell in love with you" Just be yourself! I know for me it was an experience that I will never forget!

Are You Still In School? no

Are You Working? yes

Re: First Day

Stay positive, be proactive, and absorb all you can. Best wishes!!

Your Professional Title/Credentials: RMA/ CMA/CNA/graduate LPN

Are You Still In School? yes

Are You Working? yes

Re: First Day

Did you have a unit on Professionalism during your training?

There should be a LOT in your textbook on "how to act". As far as what you should and should not do - do everything your site will allow you to do.

I have had some student disappointed because they were not allowed to do anything like give shots, take vitals, etc. They were just used as errand boys (er, make that errand girls).

Then I had some student who called me in a panic after the first day because the site threw them on there own for EVERYTHING the very first day.

See how we have gone from one extreme to another. A good extern site will lead you and guide you through.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: B.S.E., RMA, AHI

Are You Still In School? no

Are You Working? yes

Re: First Day

Suzanne-Your last sentence is so true. But the same goes for a good school.

I am reposting something I sent in last March. At the time it was made a Sticky but I am afraid it didn't get any responses because some might have taken it seriously. I was trying to say WHAT TO AVOID-

How to Have a Bad Externship

This is aimed at all current students who are thinking about their externships and wondering what to expect. Maybe this will help you avoid some mistakes I made:

1. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T PICK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO BUT WHERE SOMEBODY ELSE WANTS YOU TO GO-I wanted a few other sites that a well-meaning teacher thought were too "limiting" so she recommended a place where she had worked at, thinking it would be a welcoming place for me. It was not because-

2. CHOOSE A SITE THAT DOESN'T REALLY WANT YOU THERE BECAUSE OF PAST TROUBLE WITH STUDENTS FROM YOUR SCHOOL-You will find this out as soon as you sit down with the office manager for an interview and she will let you know what she thinks of your school. If you feel embarrassed and put on the spot, these are warning signs because those feelings are not going to go away.

3. If YOU GET THE IMPRESSION YOU WILL HAVE TO PROVE YOURSELF TO THE OFFICE MANAGER IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE, BUT YOU ARE FEELING A LITTLE INITIAL SHYNESS AND THE NATURAL NERVOUSNESS THAT COMES WITH BEING AN EXTERN STUDENT,BY ALL MEANS KEEP FEELING THAT WAY AND STOP APPROACHING THE MANAGER WITH QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS AFTER THE FIRST WEEK-This will ensure that she doesn't know the trouble you may be having with fitting in, and being kept busy. It also helps to accidentally overhear the manager telling others how she has had it with your school and will not be taking anymore students.

4. DON'T TELL THE SITE SUPERVISOR HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THE TIMES WHEN THERE IS NOTHING TO DO (no patients) BUT RATHER JUST STAND AND WAIT TO BE TOLD WHAT YOU CAN DO- I was not given any sit-down work, others covered it and it was not my place to ask them to let me do their jobs. I had promised myself I would not sit around cause it looks bad and since there are just only so many times that you can clean and restock exam rooms I stood, watched others, and waited for a walk-in.

5. IF YOU TRY TO SWITCH SITES BECAUSE EACH STUDENT HAS A CHOICE OF TWO SITES, AND YOUR SCHOOL DOESN'T WANT TO GO TO THE TROUBLE OF GETTING YOU IN ANOTHER OFFICE, QUIT THE PROGRAM!-Seriously, you need to be in contact with someone understanding at the school, who will not make you feel like a problem student. Start the contact as soon as you start your externship, if not with one teacher then with another one. If the externship coordinator is new at the job and is doing lousy at it, then complain to the director. Above all else, get in your required hours and try to do as much as possible wherever you are at. If you find out that you are at a site that will let you stand around because they are not paying you,demand that you be placed elsewhere. I went into a job right after my externship where they will SAVE things for me to do when there are cancellations. But if you are not wanted at a site and you are feeling it,you are going to have an unpleasant time-with no chance of getting hired in there-CHOOSE YOUR SITE WISELY.

Update-It's easy to stand back now,a year later,and see the mistakes I made,and regret them. I think choosing a good externship site can sometimes make or break you. If you get a good site,or at least one that allows you to make the effort for it to be a good experience,you not only build up the confidence needed to find a job and do well at it,but you increase your chances of getting hired in there.

Your Professional Title/Credentials: RMA