Question: I am a recent graduate with an Associated degree in Medical Assisting. I will be taking my certification exam in the end of July. I was lucky and was offered a position at the clinic in which I did my externship. We have recently went live with EMR and I am really discouraged to find that we as Medical Assistants throughout the Avera system are not allowed to verify medications with patients. Which in turn means we are not allowed to room patients or have anything to do with medications at all! I find this to be VERY discouraging and today I would advise any of my friends to skip going for MA and go for LPN or RN. Before we went live with EMR I was in charge of the small lab that we operate. We are a rural clinic so our lab is mainly CLIA wave tests and we do have a hematology machine that runs CBCD's. But we do preform many lab draws and courier them to the hospital. Now that we have went live with EMR I am in the front office in charge of phones, scheduling, billing and coding. The only contact I have with patients is through the phone or to check them in and verify their demographics and insurance at the front desk. I feel that I am being short changed with the education that I will be paying for for a long time! I did the time to learn about taking vitals, learning the anatomy of the human body and medical office procedures ect! I know that most of these changes have to do with Medicare and their regulations and that is why I feel that our scope of practice needs to be updated to clearly state with our training that we as trained professionals are competent to be able to manage medications. If you have any information that you can forward to me it would be greatly appreciated!
Answer: I am not sure where your clinic is but we have students who have graduated that are working back office in Avera clinics that are live with EMR. In fact several of the clinics have contacted us for graduates who are looking for jobs because they want them for the back office. As I said, I don't know exactly where you work but you might want to discuss it with your manager and have her call some of the other managers. *This request was sent to us via e-mail. Thank you for posting the question!