Medical assistants play a crucial role in the delivery of care across the Spectrum Health system. Whether working in a provider office setting, a clinic, or a long-term care facility, MAs play an important role in creating a better experience for patients and their families.
Barron Spearman, Spectrum Health director of operations for primary care, who started his own medical career as an MA, on the way to receiving a B.S. degree in Business Management and an MBA, discusses what it's like to be a medical assistant and what they do.
Medical assistants are found throughout the health system in nearly every facet of the organization. They support all clinical service lines at Spectrum Health, ranging from Primary Health to Cancer & Hematology to Women's Health.
They also have a variety of duties like supporting the care team, prepare the patient for the provider, collect medical history and take vitals, document patient visits and complete referrals, perform various administrative duties, provide immunizations/injections, and much more.
Medical assistants are in such high demand right now that the minimum starting wage was recently raised to $16/hr. New MA’s can also receive a $1,500 signing bonus if they agree to work for Spectrum Health for a year.
For those who would like to advance and use their skills more broadly, there are many opportunities within Spectrum Health, such as:
o Senior medical assistant
o Care team lead
o Practice supervisor
o Operations specialist
o Practice manager
o Health informatics specialist
o Quality improvement specialist
o Health systems trainer
To learn more about being a medical assistant at Spectrum Health, visit spectrumhealth.org.
Barron started his healthcare career in 1989 as a Dietary Aide, followed by becoming a Nurse's Aide. Then in 1995, he took a Medical Assistant Course at the Grand Rapids Educational Center and worked as a Medical Assistant for six years in assisted living, occupational health, and urgent care settings before returning to nursing school and becoming an LPN in 2002.
Since then he's worked as a Lead MA, Supervisor, Practice Manager, Operations Specialist, Operations Manager, and now as a Director of Operations in Primary Care.