Hands-on and Patient-Focused

"In November 2010, after completing my medical assisting program, I left my family and friends in New Hampshire and moved to Boston to begin my career as a medical assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital Internal Medicine Associates (IMA). The move was a little scary for me because I didn’t know anyone in the area, but my IMA colleagues in Urgent Care quickly became my close friends.  

 My work as a medical assistant requires a high level of organization and attention to detail; it’s very hands-on and patient focused. Since I’m the first clinical person patients see when they come to Urgent Care, it’s important that I gain their trust and make them feel at ease. Sometimes, while I’m taking vital signs or performing an electrocardiogram (EKG), patients will tell me things that they won’t tell their families or even their doctor, and these details can be critical to a diagnosis. 

I’m really enthusiastic about patient care. I guess it shows because in August of 2012, my manager asked me to be part of an Innovation Team testing ways to redesign primary care practices within Mass General. Our goal is to find ways to streamline care and keep patients’ home and healthier. As one example, we’re working to standardize the equipment and supplies for each patient exam room. We’re also doing care team huddles before appointments to review if patients are up to date on their vaccines and cancer screenings. 

Recently, I was also invited to work on a research study for acute lower back pain, and it's been a great learning experience. After passing an exam to qualify as a research assistant, I am now able to assist with patient screening, helping to determine which patients meet the criteria for inclusion into the study. Patients who qualify receive information about managing their back pain at home. We follow up to see if this information helps them to reduce their pain and their need for multiple doctor’s office and Urgent Care visits. 

Being part of the Innovation Team and lower back pain study is very exciting. I’ve been working at Mass General for three years and I’m already involved with redesigning the way we care for people. I plan to start classes toward a nursing degree and I hope to spend my entire career here at Mass General."