Photo: (L-R) Sue Crew (UNEP, CEO), Elizabeth Grist, Kathryn Hogan (UNEP, Client Relations Manager).
I enrolled in Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting HLT47715 with UNE Partnership RTO:6754, through the Smart and Skilled Targeted Priorities Full Qualification funding. This qualification reflects the role of medical practice assistants whose work includes a broad range of administrative functions combined with tasks to support medical practitioners in the delivery of care to clients. These tasks are completed under the direct or indirect supervision of a medical practitioner, that is a registered nurse or doctor.
The qualification requires students to complete 23 units of competency, over an 18-month study period. The 23 units are in four streams, 4 Community Health units, 10 Clinical skills units, 6 Business units and 3 First Aid units. The course commitment is approximately 5 to 6 hours of online study each week including learning and support webinars plus 7 days of face to face training
I chose this course for the following reasons:
The journey began when my colleague had her initial interview to join the admin/reception team at Ulladulla Endoscopy and Medical Centre (UEMC), where I work. She was part way through Medical Practice Assisting HLT47715 (MPA) with OTEN. My boss took interest and found out about MPA through UNE Partnerships. She asked that I consider applying for the NSW Government funded program, Smart and Skilled funding. The expression of interest by the 6th December 2018 which happened to be the day before the closing date. UNE partnerships thoroughly explained the opportunity and checked my eligibility. What intrigued me about the course was the clinical aspect. Having background in dental nursing I was keen to learn the clinical side of things in a medical practice and appreciate the variety of roles and responsibilities.
Since I last studied about 20 years ago, this has changed / impacted me in various way such as setting goals to complete modules in set timeframes, prioritizing with study first, it was like an addiction. I was unable to pace myself with the given freedom for each module and feeling an irresistible urge to complete each module within a few weeks. This career path has given me a wider scope of opportunity and variety when working in the medical field; broadening my knowledge and skills to understand the reason for completing particular task after a lot of late nights studying into the quiet hours of the morning.
I have gained practical useful knowledge which has helped me implement the skills with confidence in the workplace. This has provided the ability to increase clinical duties and responsibilities adding variety to our work roles, enjoyment and satisfaction with hands on tasks.
As I progress through the 23-unit course, I am now qualified to perform some clinical and administrative tasks, this has brought workflow efficiencies and increased the patient/ doctor ratio and patient satisfaction rate, in my practice.
As I’ve been studying each unit, I’ve been able to further develop processes and workflows by compare what is being done in the workplace and how, bringing new ideas, suggestions, and participating in the continual improvement process.
I’ve been able to tell my patients about the benefits of MPA course and vocational education, when they ask about the training whilst doing an ECG. They query after seeing me only at the front desk and now doing ECG’s. The patients have appreciated the structure of the course to assist the practice with both clinical and duties at the front desk. I was able to encourage my work mates with eating habits at the front desk in regards to hand hygiene, also doing stretches to prevent stiffness and poor posture by following the exercises on the laminated sheet placed in various places as reminders.
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