Lucia (Lucy) Lincoln
Lucia (Lucy) Lincoln, 2018 Medical Assistant
Medical Assistant at the Primary Walk-In Medical Center in East Providence
I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field.
I couldn’t afford to go to nursing school after high school; I had to work. For a while, I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Life went on and I became a stay-at-home mom with four children.
In 2011, I started nursing school part-time at a community college.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer during 2014, I was still taking classes. I tried to continue while having chemo and radiation—and caring for my family. I would get chemo on Tuesdays and miss classes later in the week
My grades reflected how much class time I had missed.
I had to leave the nursing program. I would have been required to wait for five years to re-enter the program, and to re-take all of the nursing classes I had originally completed.
Nursing programs within commuting distance were too expensive.
I knew someone who had graduated from MTTI’s Medical Assistant program. She liked the program and was working as a Medical Assistant.
I chose MTTI because I could have a career in seven months.
The cost of the program was lower than at other schools. The class size was smaller. I liked MTTI’s friendly, easy going environment. Hands-on learning was a big plus—many skills in Medical Assisting are hard to learn from a book.
Typically a very calm person, I panicked while learning patient assessment.
I was nervous about what questions to ask—for example, when someone presents with a stomach ache.
I remembered I had dealt—all the time—with these same complaints at home.
And I knew how to handle them! I have a strong stomach and am naturally nurturing. When someone has something go wrong, I’m typically the first one there to help. I just needed to transfer my confidence in caring for family to what I was learning at school.
Initially, I was very nervous about drawing blood.
I didn’t think I would be able to do phlebotomy. My instructor, Ms. Jen, was awesome. She stayed very calm—even when one of us messed up. She talked me through it, saying, “See, see—you can do it!”
We also practiced giving injections a lot.
When I began internship, I initially felt nervous—but soon I was asking to give injections.
On our internship ‘search day’ I visited the Walk-In Center in East Providence.
I wanted a place where I could l learn a lot in many areas of medicine—not just one specialty. I don’t care for office work. I wanted to be busy doing hands-on clinical work.
The Walk-In Center agreed to intern me.
When I began, they didn’t have an open position in which to hire me. During the second or third week of interning, they asked if I would work ‘on call’ after graduation. I would have done that to get a foot in the door. Then in my last week of internship, someone gave notice. The Walk-In Center offered me a full-time position.
East Providence Center does it all—Walk-In plus Primary Care.
I work with three Physician Assistants, a Doctor and a Nurse Practitioner. I perform EKGs, Injections and assist with other procedures. I can ask another Medical Assistant for help, but I like to do as much as I can myself.
It’s hectic working in a walk-in center with primary care.
Patients want to be taken care of on their own time. It’s demanding--but I’m used to that with family. I’ve adapted to things quickly all of my life—even when it has been stressful. My life experience juggling kids has helped prepare me for working in a walk-in with primary care.
I’m the Medical Assistant that triages patients.
I take the vital signs, determine why they have come in that day, put them into rooms for the docs and see what needs to be done.
Patients ask plenty of questions!
When I don’t know the answers, I find the information. Patients feel I am attentive to their needs. The docs have told me that patients like me because I am pleasant and informative. I’m a good listener and I’m patient with people.
I just ‘clicked’ right into place at the Walk-In Center.
Everyone is supportive; the staff is easy-going. I’m learning new procedures, and becoming faster at what I do. I feel very comfortable.
Attending the program five days a week, while caring for family, was challenging.
My husband and I worked out a schedule to bring kids to and from school. I cooked and cleaned and helped with homework. Evenings I had ‘kid activities’.
The Medical Assistant program helped me learn time management.
Even when I was exhausted from receiving chemo, my kids saw me doing everything for the family. Then I still took care of family while going to MTTI. Since graduating and going to work, I’ve backed off a bit; I cook dinners in the crock pot. I’ve learned to moderate the feeling that taking care of everyone is solely my responsibility.
I’m truly happy and content being a Medical Assistant.
I’m not missing being a Nurse. I get a lot of responsibility, work hands-on and do a lot that nurses do. I feel fortunate to work at the Walk-In Center.