A Day in the Life
How did you become interested in health care?
I had some health problems as a child, so I spent a lot of time in doctors’ offices. And, at a young age, I learned quickly how impersonal the health care system can be. I wanted to get into health care to help patients have a better experience than I did. But it was overwhelming to think about the time and money needed for medical school.
I moved around in different jobs, but working in health care was still an important goal of mine. I’m also passionate about social justice, especially when it comes to access to health care. People who don’t fit in as “normal” often don’t get the health care they need because they’re judged by others.
So I decided to volunteer at a clinic that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community to see if being in a health care environment felt right for me.
It turns out I loved it. I love the fast pace, and I’m proud to be serving the LGBTQ community, which has long faced obstacles in accessing non-judgmental and fair health care.
As a volunteer, I was trained to do administrative tasks and learned how to take patients’ vital signs — temperature, pulse and blood pressure. After six months of volunteering, I was hired as a medical assistant.
What’s a typical day like for a medical assistant?
As a medical assistant, I schedule appointments and help patients navigate the health care system. I still check patients’ vital signs before they see a provider, but now I also give shots, draw blood and assist during medical examinations.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Interacting with patients and making a difference in their health care experience is what I enjoy the most.
What’s most challenging?
Sometimes the fact-paced environment can be overwhelming. You’re always busy and just when you think you have everything under control you’re faced with another challenge. But the beauty of my job is that I learn something new from each patient.
What’s your best advice for anyone considering working in health care?
If you think you want to make a difference in health care, try volunteering at a clinic or hospital. You can help out and learn a lot while getting a flavor of what it’s like. And know that no matter what, it’s always rewarding.