1/18/19

An inside look: Certified Medical Assistant in training

The Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) in Training Program was so successful the first year that it’s expanding the number of students and sessions for 2019. 

At Carle, CMAs help staff Primary Care locations – from Pediatrics to Family Medicine to Geriatrics – as well as specialties like urology, dermatology and endocrinology. Trainees experience a host of different departments during their paid training, and Carle places them in jobs that fit their skills and patients’ needs.

“We talk all the time at Carle about providing top-decile care for our patients,” said Kelsey Brownfield, RN coordinator for CMA Transition to Practice program. “CMAs are crucial to that important goal.”

But what’s it like to actually train as a CMA?

Mackenzie Williams, CMA/RMA for Adult Medicine, she can’t say enough about her experience.

“The training has been amazing. From management to classmates, departments and everything in between, it was seamless,” Williams said. “I made some really good friends through the program.

“Plus, I have been able to build upon the knowledge I have from being a Certified Nursing Assistant in a long-term care facility.” 

What did Williams learn?

“I’m still learning something new every day, but during training, I learned how to take someone’s blood pressure, temperature, pulse, respirations and everything involving vitals,” Williams said. “I know how to give injections and point-of-care testing such as urine dips, urine cultures, pregnancy tests, Alere Flu Tests, glucose tests, etc.” 

Out of everything Williams has gained from the CMA in Training Program, her biggest takeaway is to not second guess herself.

“Even with previous experience in the healthcare field, a lot of the things I’m doing now, I never did at the long-term care facility – which is what I like about being a CMA,” Williams said. “The schedule fits with my life, and after being certified, I have more opportunities to grow within Carle.”

After her training, Williams went to work for Adult Medicine at Champaign on Curtis.

“I could not be more pleased with my journey so far. Kelsey Brownfield and Amber Nibling worked really hard to make the program successful along with so many others. They made it an easy transition into this field,” Williams said.

What does Williams want others to know about CMAs?

“The CMA role is such a great role to be in. You get to be one of the first people who greets a patient when they come in,” Williams said. “You set the mood for how they feel about their provider’s office and that appointment.”