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What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

At the beginning of the day, I log into my electronic medical record (EMR) and select my schedule based on the doctors or nurse practitioners I’m assigned to. I look at all the appointment types for the day to determine whether the patients will need EKG’s, vitals or device (pacemaker) checks. I build a note template for each appointment. Next, I check to see if any tasks or prescriptions need to be completed for my assigned doctors. 

As patients come into the office, I escort them from the waiting room to the exam room. At this time, I take vital signs and use the EMR system to update the patient's chart with information such as any hospitalizations, allergies, medications and vaccines. Next, I will perform an EKG or hook the patient up to the appropriate pacemaker machine. 

In our office, visits are scheduled 30 minutes or an hour apart. In between visits, I complete various clinical and administrative tasks. 

How did your experience at WCCC prepare you for your career?

The education I received in the classroom and the hands-on experience at WCCC's lab was everything I needed to prepare for my current position. The lab allowed us to practice procedures like EKG’s, specimen collection and autoclaving (sterilizing tools) until we felt confident enough to perform the task in a clinical setting. The classes prepared me for administrative duties like prior authorizations and scheduling. The classes also gave me clinical knowledge of pharmacology and medical terminology. 

What was your transition like from being a student to your current career position?

The medical assisting program made the transition from being a student to a working medical assistant very easy. Each student completes an externship at the end of the program. Most of the time, these clinics are looking to hire. I was an extern at Western Slope Cardiology for about a month before they offered me a full time, paying position. During the externship, we met in class once a week to discuss anything we thought necessary with classmates and professors. 

What do you think set you apart from the other applicants for your current position? 

I think my previous experience in the medical field and my positive attitude set me apart from other applicants. I showed up to my externship every day with a smiling face and grateful heart. I was able to show them how much of a hard worker I was during these few weeks. Going above and beyond what was asked of me really made a difference. 

What advice would you give to incoming college students?

Network, network, network! Everyone you meet in the medical field is a potential employer or coworker. Make strong connections with people and ask for phone numbers or emails as you will need good references for a job in the medical field.