December 6, 2016 -
PORT ANGELES – With a bright and cheery attitude Michelle Slavin greets patients at the OMP Walk-in Clinic in Sequim, and accompanies them to the examination room. Under the supervision and attention of a preceptor, she takes patient vitals, obtains the patient’s medical history and performs other appropriate point-of-care testing.
As a student in Peninsula College’s Medical Assisting program, up to this point she has learned not only clinical skills, but administrative skills that are highly sought after by the medical community. Working in an Olympic Medical Physicians clinic as part of the final leg of the program, she gains the valuable patient experience under the watchful eye of an experienced medical assistant.
"As the need for medical resources in our area grow – including primary care and specialty physicians – the need for medical assisting professionals grows as well,” says Alicia Welch, a certified medical assistant, and supervisor of the OMP Walk-in Clinic in Sequim.
Students such as Slavin are found throughout OMP clinics, obtaining the experience they need to provide a high standard of patient-centered care. The opportunity to fill a vacant medical assisting position in the community is highly likely – at Olympic Medical Physicians alone there are a number of new positions to be filled. "They are a highly sought after resource,” says Welch. "Every time we hire a new provider, we need a medical assistant. Qualified medical assistants are hard to find and Peninsula College has heard the call to help fill this need in the local workforce.”
The skills needed in a medical assistant are many and varied. Clinically, they obtain vitals, perform blood draws and EKGs and other procedures. They assist in administrative tasks, such as scheduling, insurance verification, as well as registration.
Medical Assisting is a flexible allied health field that provides the opportunity for change and professional growth. Peninsula College’s program prepares students for employment in medical offices, clinics and other outpatient health care settings. Courses offer students the opportunity gain professional skills in a career that is needed in all medical communities.
Peninsula College offers a Medical Assisting AAS degree and a Medical Assisting Certificate. For more information, go to http://pencol.edu/proftech/medical-assisting.
Peninsula College Medical Assisting Program students work closely with Medical Assistants and nurses in Olympic Medical Physician clinics to put their learned skills to practice. From Left to Right: Karinn Larsen, student, OMP Surgery Clinic and OMP Women’s Clinic; Karen Thomas, medical assistant, OMP Walk-in Clinic; Ninette Swanson, RN, OMP Specialty Clinic - Sequim; Michelle Slavin, student, OMP Walk-in Clinic; Sheri Hedberg, medical assistant, OMP Women’s Clinic; Tiffany Dorrington, RN, OMP Specialty Clinic - Sequim; Chantelle Lynch, student, OMP Specialty Clinic - Sequim; and Sharla Libera, student, OMP Specialty Clinic - Sequim.
From Left to Right: Gina Gaul, medical assistant, OMP Specialty Clinic - Port Angeles; Sean Paulsen, student, OMP Specialty Clinic - Port Angeles; Jessica Cranor, student, OMP Primary Care Clinic; and Danielle Morgan, medical assistant; OMP Primary Care Clinic.
Olympic Medical Center (Clallam County Public Hospital District No. 2) is a comprehensive, award-winning health care provider for more than 70,000 residents of Clallam County. It has served the community since its establishment on Nov. 1, 1951, and is governed by a seven-member, publicly elected board. Olympic Medical is a sole community hospital and rural referral center, and a charter member of both the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (2003) and the Swedish Health Network (2011). Olympic Medical provides inpatient services at its 67-bed acute-care facility in Port Angeles, including a level-three trauma designated emergency department, surgical services, and labor and delivery. OMC’s outpatient services include cardiac, imaging, physical therapy and rehabilitation, laboratory, sleep medicine, surgical services, home health, physician clinics and comprehensive regional cancer care at locations in Port Angeles and Sequim.