Insights from a Medical Assistant: Providing Patient Care while Pursuing Professional Growth

Insights from a Medical Assistant: Providing Patient Care while Pursuing Professional Growth

Since high school biology, Alison Fitzgerald has held a passion for medicine. When she decided to become a physician assistant (PA), she discovered that working as a Medical Assistant (MA) would be a critical step in her journey. As an MA, Alison is gaining invaluable patient care experience and a deeper understanding of the medical field. 

The Journey to Carolina NeuroSurgery & Spine Associates (CNSA):

The decision to work as an MA became a stepping stone toward Alison’s ultimate goal of becoming a PA. Having gained valuable patient care experience during a senior year internship on a surgical floor, Alison’s decision to join CNSA was driven by the desire for a change of pace and the opportunity to contribute to spine care.

“When I graduated and decided to move back home to Charlotte, NC, I knew I wanted to work in an outpatient office. I cared for a significant number of patients who had undergone spine surgery, so when I came across CNSA, I knew I was interested. Once I learned more about CNSA, it seemed like a great workplace and highly regarded in the community. It was a no-brainer for me when I received my offer of employment.”

A Day in the Life:

A typical day for our medical assistant starts with meticulous preparation, ensuring patient rooms and the injection suite are ready for the day. Clinic sessions involve rooming patients, relaying crucial information to the provider, and preparing for the next day in between appointments.

“Once the clinic is finished, I have lunch and continue to work on future patient sheets or catch up on charting. Afterward, injections typically begin, and I spend that time bringing patients back to the injection suite, obtaining consent, collecting vitals, and asking a set of pre-injection questions. After patients complete their injections, I collect their vitals two more times, and then they are free to go. Once injections wrap up, I clean rooms and finish anything I need to complete for the next day. The days are busy!” 

Alison is pictured drawing up medication to prep a patient for an ultrasound-guided injection.

The Fulfilling Connection with Patients:

For Alison, the most rewarding aspect of healthcare work is the interaction with patients. 

“I think anyone in healthcare would agree that the most fulfilling part of our work is interacting with our patients. There is no better feeling than getting to know patients and watching them recover and be able to get back to experiencing life without pain or symptoms. Many times, patients are nervous about having in-office procedures done or undergoing surgery, so a big part of my job is to comfort them and give them as much support as I can.”

Professional Growth at CNSA:

Working at CNSA has provided Alison with a supportive environment for patient care and nurtured professional growth. 

“Working at CNSA has provided me with so much support in my professional growth and has allowed me to gain meaningful experience. I have recently been accepted to PA school, and all of my coworkers and providers I work with have been very supportive of my educational pursuits. Providers are always offering me little bits of knowledge, whether pointing out a concern seen on an MRI or explaining the decision-making behind treatment options.”

Alison pictured with physiatrist, Sameer Vemuri, MD, in the recovery room following a patient who had just had an epidural spinal injection.

Learning and Growing as a Medical Assistant:

Daily exposure to knowledgeable colleagues, including MAs, nurses, APPs, and physicians, has allowed Alison to learn - and learn fast. The dynamic nature of the work ensures that each day brings new insights and learning opportunities.

“Working at CNSA has allowed me to grow as a medical assistant. Having only worked in a hospital setting, I have learned a lot about how outpatient medical practices are run and knowledge about common symptoms, issues, & treatment for spine-related issues. Working daily near astute MAs, nurses, APPs, and physicians has allowed for an immense amount of knowledge to be obtained relatively quickly. Every day, I learn something new, which I love!”

In the realm of care at CNSA, the role of a medical assistant is integral to the patient experience and the overall success of the clinic. Balancing diverse responsibilities, overcoming challenges, and contributing to the growth of a healthcare professional, CNSA serves as a dynamic and supportive workplace for those aspiring to make a difference in the field of medicine.

Join the Journey: Launch Your Medical Career at CNSA!

Passionate about healthcare? Follow Alison's path from high school to becoming a Medical Assistant (MA) at CNSA.

  • Vital Role: Assist in patient care, witness transformations, and contribute to spine care in an outpatient setting.
  • Patient Connection: Comfort and support patients through procedures, surgeries, and their recovery journey.
  • Professional Growth: Our supportive environment nurtures your aspirations, whether you aim to become a PA or excel in your current role.
  • Daily Learning: Collaborate with experienced colleagues, gaining insights and mastering clinical procedures every day.

Join CNSA and make a difference in healthcare. Apply now to kickstart your rewarding career!

Visit our CAREERS PAGE to view all clinical support staff team openings and apply today! 

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