Paige Pickart: MA starts role as Care Team Coordinator
Medical assistants (MA) fill a critical and necessary role in hospitals and clinics. They work alongside physicians and are cross-trained to perform both administrative and clinical duties.
“Within the hospital setting, we provide frontline and backline services,” says Paige Pickart, MA, Scott Boulevard Clinic. “On the frontline, we call and check in patients. On the clinical side, we room patients, give vaccines, draw blood, and do anything else we need to do to help the doctor.”
UI Hospitals & Clinics has openings for MAs on our staff. And Pickart encourages people to consider this career. Though Pickart first considered a career as a teacher or parole officer, she listened to some sage advice several years ago.
“My mom told me there are a lot of openings in the medical field and I should consider something like medical assisting,” says Pickart. “Though I wasn’t sure at first, I decided to give it a shot and I love it.”
Training and certification
Pickart realized she didn’t want to be in college for a long time. She attended Kirkwood Community College for two years, followed by a three-month externship at her current clinic.
“They offered me a job halfway through my externship,” she says. “I’ve been here two years now, and I really like the variety within a family medicine setting.”
While Pickart says while many choose to remain MAs, some use it as a springboard.
“I don’t know many people that have extended their schooling,” she says. “But one woman I know, started as an MA and then went on to get her nursing degree.”
Expanding their services
After looking at the time providers spent writing notes outside of work, medical assistants at the Scott Boulevard Clinic began serving in a care team coordinator (CTC) role.
“We go in rooms and scribe for the doctors,” Pickart says. “This role also cuts down on patient messages through Epic, patient calls, and refill requests. Our providers love it.”
The need for medical assistants nationwide is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2019 to 2029, a much faster rate than for other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Medical assisting is a great program,” she says. “It’s a great place to start—or stay—if you want to get into health care.”