What is an MA?
In honor of Medical Assistants Recognition Week, Oct. 17-21, The Everett Clinic honors its entire team of #AmazingMAs! Two of our teammates, Katie Steinback, MA, Cancer Partnership and Mark Laviste, MA, Founders Building Family Medicine, answer questions about their position at the heart of healthcare.
What is a Medical Assistant?
A Medical Assistant (MA) is a healthcare professional that performs clinical duties that support the work of providers in a patient based clinical setting.
What do you do?
We room patients for providers, obtain general information why a patient needs to be seen, obtain vital signs and administers vaccinations and medications. MAs also process paperwork for providers and talk with patients over the phone.
- Answering telephones
- Greeting patients
- Updating and filing patient medical records
- Coding and filling out insurance forms
- Arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services
- Handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping
- Taking medical histories
- Explaining treatment procedures to patients
- Preparing patients for examination
- Assisting the physician during exams
- Collecting and preparing laboratory specimens
- Performing basic laboratory tests
- Instructing patients about medication and special diets
- Preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician
- Authorizing prescription refills as directed
- Drawing blood
- Taking electrocardiograms
- Removing sutures and changing dressings
Why is it important to have MAs?
- Katie: We act as “buffers” and can help level load for our busy providers so that they are able to safely and effectively care for each patient.
- Mark: We make patient care flow go smoothly for all providers.
How do patients benefit from having MAs part of the team?
- Katie: Because I work at the Cancer Partnership, patients benefit because MAs are a familiar face during a very trying time in their lives. I can be their security blanket when they are here receiving their Chemotherapy. I get to know each patient and try to make each time they visit us a good experience, even if it’s not something they want to do.
- Mark: Providers can be very busy with their responsibilities; MAs are always ready to give a helping hand to patients and help answer questions.
What certifications do you need?
All Everett Clinic MAs must have a Medical Assistant Certification in the State of Washington.
AAMA certification (American Association of Medical Assistants) or NCCT (National Center for Competency Testing)
What is it like being an MA at The Everett Clinic?
- Katie: The Everett Clinic is a phenomenal place to work! We make work fun and it truly is like your extended family. I can’t imagine doing this job with any other group of people! I am very happy to have already put in eight years and look forward to many more!
- Mark: The Everett Clinic gives us the opportunity to grow as Medical Assistants and be the best that we can be. They give us opportunities to work in specialties and expand our knowledge within healthcare.
DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed by Everett Clinic teammates and providers on “A Healthier You” blog and those providing comments are theirs alone and are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your own provider for personal health recommendations.
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