Externship is having an opportunity to utilize your hands on skills and bring you one step closer to your career. The Medical Assistant Management program at the College of Westchester prepared me well for Practicum at Dr. Lawerance Neshiwat’s Endocrinology and Internal Medicine Office in Mount Vernon, New York. Endocrinology is the study of the medical aspects of hormones, including diseases and conditions associated with hormonal imbalances. I held the position of a front desk receptionist and medical assistant.
My daily duties during my externship were picking up phone calls , where patients will schedule or reschedule appointments. Also as patients came in for appointments, I would prepare their chart and create a new chart for any new patients. During my down time, I took the time out to fax papers such as prescriptions to pharmacies, nursing homes, lab results etc. After the fax had a confirmation, I would staple the confirmation to the original and file the paper in alphabetical order , later the necessary files would be put in the patient’s chart.Order now
I also was in charge in making sure all the rooms were filled with a patient for the doctor to see. When Dr. Neshiwat would comes out of room with a patient, he normally would hands me their prescription where I made a copy. He would also ask me to give them any glucose testing machines, test strips and medicine tablets. When I had the opportunity I was allowed to assist patients which means I was obligated to write down the reason of the visit ( chief complaint), perform EKG, and spirometry, retain vital signs ( height, weight, blood pressure), glucose testing if needed and obtain recent lab results.
During the last hour of my day, I would start pulling charts for patients who had an appointment for the next day, finish up my messages that were written down, create folders for the doctor such as signature, lab result callbacks, and reviews. Although I performed a few things I learned in class ,there were still things slightly different such as EKG. I learned in school that EKG leads on extremities were placed on the wrist and ankle, but in my externship they preferred me to put the leads more on the upper arm and upper leg.
I knew to perform proper hand washing before and after every patents to but I noticed that the coworkers didn’t , but they wore gloves during blood and urine exposure. I heard information about patients by name flowing through the office, which is against HIPAA. I had high expectation that I will be instructed properly and everyone would be nice, then reality hit me. My first day, I was taught pretty quickly, which was a do or die. There were a few times where I was screamed at for either incorrectly doing something or not knowing how to do it, but my thought was “how do you expect me to just know if I wasn’t taught properly .
They expected me to know everything since I was fresh out of college. On a positive note, I was trained how to do a spirometry, which is used to assess how well your lungs work by measuring how much air you inhale, how much you exhale and how quickly you exhale. Spirometry is also used to diagnose asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other conditions that affect breathing. I learned about health insurances, where we would see if patient’s were eligible or approved for the visit.
Another thing we would do was check for any outstanding balances, copays and if referrals are needed. My trainer showed me how to request and get an approval for patient ‘s MRI testing of the brain, chest and thyroid gland at St. John’s Hospital. I would obtain many results such as labs, blood, MRI etc. These new skills that I gained can be recommended to be taught to medical students in the College of Westchester. I feel that it is important to know what health insurances are out there other then Medicare and Medicad because honestly some students only know the common ones.
My experience at Dr. Lawerance Neshiwat’s office was not what I expected. I had the thought of everything was going to be easy and slightly hard with minimum fun. I had high expectation because in school I was taught that in the field things will be professional, but within my first experience I encountered unprofessional work. I wouldn’t recommended this office for incoming student. Although I wouldn’t recommend the office , I will say this can be a learning experience for incoming students because I learned how medical offices work in reality.
This can be a eye opener for students who expect everything they learned will be done in a medical office. This office can show students how not to expect what you learn in class to be exactly done in medical office which will give them a taste of reality. During my externship journey, I was in search for a medical assistant job. Around my last few weeks of my externship I got called in for a interview at Dr. Patel’s office. I got the job, but they wanted me to work immediately which I couldn’t do because I had externship hours that must be completed.
They asked me if I was willing to leave my externship and finish my hours at their office and then after my hours were completed they will hire me. Of course I had the honor in asking my teacher if I can continue my externship at Dr. Patel’s office. I got the approval to switch externship and now that I been at Dr. Patel. Meanwhile, I have a full time job at Dr. Patel’s office as medical assistant and also I am a friendly outgoing bartender at your neighbor grill, Applebee’s.
Now that my journey is coming to an end, I will like to continue my education in a different school where I have the opportunity to get my Bachelor’s degree in Biology and also get into a Pre-Med program. My goal is to go to medical school and become an OB/GYN doctor. I got accepted to many colleges such as St. Johns’s University and Mercy College, but unfortunately due to financial aid, I will not be able to attend a college at the moment. I can’t afford school right now, since my mother is going through hardships like losing her job. I will not give up my dream in becoming a doctor.