Confidence and Experience: How to Thrive as a Medical Assistant Student

Posted by on August 22, 2013

Externships are an important part of the education students receive while at Minnesota School of Business, further preparing them for the world of work that awaits them following graduation. Ariel Garcia, a medical assistant program student at the Lakeville campus, enrolled in her 240-hour externship at the HealthPartners clinic in Apple Valley, Minn.

medical assistant program

Ariel Garcia on location at her HealthPartners externship.

As part of her externship, Ariel is practicing skills she has learned in her classes and applying them in way that will prepare her for success following graduation. She has the opportunity to work directly with patients to administer injections, check vital signs, and perform EKGs. In addition, Ariel has assisted with minor surgeries and completed spirometer tests for patients.

“[My favorite part of my externship] has been the people I work with and being able to do what I love,” Ariel said.

Having the opportunity to work with Michelle Galloway, medical assistant program chair, in classes and during individual meetings has helped Ariel prepare for her role with HealthPartners. Michelle has served as an important resource, answering questions and offering expertise about the job field.

“Everything I have learned from Michelle has been very beneficial for my externship,” Ariel said.

Aside from the clinical experience Ariel is gaining, she also has a chance to practice professionalism skills and administrative duties, both of which are essential for success in the medical assistant field. As part of her role she checks patients in for their appointments and also assists patients with insurance paperwork.

“It is great to see Ariel thrive in her externship experience,” Michelle said. “When students are able to get out and apply the skills necessary to be a successful medical assistant, it instills a sense of confidence in them. Externships are also a great way for our students to gain work experience prior to graduation.”


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