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CAHE Q&A Series: Q&A with Telcida Dolcine-Sinclair, Director of the Medical Assistant Program

Redefining Comprehensive Potential of the Medical Assistant Profession

This month we spoke with Telcida Dolcine-Sinclair as part of our CAHE Q&A series. Here are some insights into this rewarding career path as offered in the CAHE Medical Assistant Program.

What type of students enroll in the Medical Assistant Program? 
Many students come into the Medical Assistant Program right out of high school. These students know that they want a career in healthcare, but they’re not yet sure about the discipline in which they want to specialize. The Medical Assistant Program is perfect for these students.

Students who have full-time jobs or family responsibilities find that our Medical Assistant Program allows them to find balance, because it’s easier to make a 10-month time commitment rather than attending college for two years.

What “soft skills” or personality traits do you look for in program applicants? 
Medical Assistants are often the “first impression” of a practice. To be successful, medical assistant should be professional, disciplined, and proactive. They should possess positive attitude and have a keen attention to detail.

Tell us about a day in the life of a Medical Assistant. 
Medical Assistant responsibilities vary based on the type of practice in which one works. Typically, the medical assistant meets and greets patients, reviews insurance eligibility and takes patient’s vital signs. A Medical Assistant job may require any of these tasks and responsibilities:

Customer Service

  • Manage the check in and registration process for patients
  • Escort patients to and from exam and treatment rooms
  • Take patient vitals
  • Act as triage and liaison between patients and physicians
  • Provide information to patients on wound care, medications, and lab results
  • Collect and update patient information

Clinical

  • Perform venipunctures and capillary punctures
  • Perform electrocardiograms
  • Maintain patient office flow throughout the day
  • Set up rooms for medical procedures with a focus on cleanliness and sterilization
  • Keep all exam rooms and medical equipment in good working order
  • Assist with minor surgical procedures
  • Work with other medical professionals, such as pharmacies, labs, and outside vendors.

Administrative

  • Perform data entry into EMR system
  • Order supplies and stock exam rooms
  • Take patient phone calls and schedule appointments

CAHE students learn important skills, such as how to take initiatives that will help expedite the patient’s visit and assist the physician by anticipating his or her needs.

What opportunities do Medical Assistants have for career growth? 
Medical Assistant is often the initial job a person has in healthcare. It’s a great place to start, as medical assistants’ get an overview of many aspects of a medical practice. Some people enjoy the diversity of the role, but for others it’s a great way to start a healthcare career. Some continue their education by enrolling in other programs at CAHE or by getting a Bachelor’s degree.

For more information on a career as a Medical Assistant, including program requirements and financial aid options, visit our program overview.

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