Alejandro Puente, 2018 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant, Lincoln Urgent Care
Excited to be caring for patients in a busy Urgent Care setting, Alejandro's future mission is to provide medical care to wounded soldiers in the battlefield.
I was working as a mold remediation specialist—the money was great.
Although eager to learn the different strains people had in their homes, I felt there must be more I could do to help people be healthy.
I looked up Medical Assistant training in Massachusetts.
I left the job to go to school.
When I visited MTTI, everyone welcomed me.
They asked me questions about what kind of career I wanted to get into. I visited another school that didn’t catch my eye during the walk-through; the students there just didn’t have positive things to say.
The MTTI Instructor I interviewed with gave me step-by-step guidance about how to be successful in the course.
Ms. Courtney advised me not to be afraid to ask questions in class, and emphasized the value of teamwork. She encouraged me to move out of my comfort zone and challenge myself.
I was nervous when I first saw the amount of material in this fast-track program.
I was working full-time nights as a bartender, while attending school five days a week. I often stayed up late to study. The program is challenging but doable, provided you have enough passion about becoming a Medical Assistant to make time to study.
Many classmates had health courses in high school; the course contents were new to me.
I hadn’t studied physiology or medical terminology before. I knew it would be important to understand terms and how the body works, so I could communicate with doctors about patients’ symptoms and treatments.
I struggled to make up school work missed while serving in the Army National Guard.
I had to go away some weekends and for couple of weeks during the summer. Ms. Courtney went above and beyond to help me catch-up so that I could go forward.
The Instructors helped us develop the personal traits we need to be successful in a medical practice.
Part of being a medical professional is the ability to ask patients questions that may be uncomfortable for them. We practiced patient communication with student volunteers from other programs.
I earned the additional Phlebotomy Certificate by completing 50 blood draws and 25 capillary sticks.
Auto Tech and other students, plus family members, came to ‘donate’ their arms for us to practice drawing blood.
We learned health specialty information from students in another program.
The Personal Fitness Trainer students gave us a class about broken bones and how to help people be in the best shape they can be in. We also had a class in nutrition that included health effects of soda, sugar and preservatives in the diet.
Shadowing at different locations was a good way to choose an internship.
When I shadowed at an Urgent Care, I recognized that this was the setting I was looking for. The fast pace would keep me busy; I would see a wider range of symptoms and conditions than I could in a general practice.
My first day as an intern was a little nerve-wracking; I kept moving, taking notes, learning and smiling.
I was excited to see and learn new procedures. I knew this was what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be.
Medical practitioners put a lot of trust in Medical Assistants.
They count on us to make sure the patient is comfortable, get the patient’s story and perform the indicated procedures.
Hands-on repetition in MTTI’s program gave me a ‘muscle memory’, making it easier to remember clinical skills.
The doctors at the Urgent Care have been impressed that, just coming out of school, I have been able to give injections and perform many hands-on procedures.
Hired as a full-time Medical Assistant, I am always busy.
I take vital signs, give flu shots and vaccinations; suture; perform EKGs, spirometry, Rapid Strep, Monospot, glucose, urine and pregnancy tests; test for STDs and perform phlebotomy. When patients come in who should go to the ER, we perform tests and stabilize them until Rescue comes to transport them.
We also do the follow-up appointments for Workers’ Compensation.
I make follow-up calls to patients to see if they are getting better and schedule appointments for those who need continuing care.
My ‘stamp of confirmation’ as a Medical Assistant came from a patient.
She had multiple lacerations from an auto accident. I sutured her cuts and calmed her anxiety. As I finished the procedure, she thanked me—both for the treatment and for helping keep her anxiety down. When I later followed up with a phone call, she complimented me and the whole staff.
Friends ask me about being a male Medical Assistant.
Some male patients are more comfortable talking with another male about certain symptoms. When providing care to female patients, if you are professional, women will respect you. I always ask young girls and women if they feel comfortable having me do a procedure, or if they prefer a female medical practitioner. If you can make a patient—male or female—comfortable, you can be successful as Medical Assistant.
I’ve been able to help soldiers in my National Guard unit with skills I learned at MTTI.
The Army recently sent me to the Combat Lifesaver Course, which prepares Soldiers for the actual experience of saving lives in battlefield or other hostile situations. Although someone can volunteer for this, they take the people they believe will retain the knowledge and handle the stress of the battlefield.
I expect to be deployed next year.
Recently promoted to Sergeant in an Infantry company in the Army National Guard, I look forward to the deployment. I trained for this—what would the point be of training if I did not go? I want to apply the medical knowledge and skills I learned at MTTI and in the Combat Lifesaver Course.
When people ask about MTTI, I tell them—absolutely—go for a tour!
It’s hands-on and the instructors will help you become successful as a medical professional. The staff sets you up for employment and interviews—they will assist you in every way possible to enter your chosen field.