In 2012, St. Louis resident Deloris Brown, 46, lost over 70 pounds through a strict regimen of diet and exercise. A few years earlier, in 2009, Portlander Andrew Aasen, 28, lost a whopping 140-plus pounds with a similar approach. What do these two have in common other than a truckload of sit-ups and sensible salads? They’re both medical assistants. Coincidence? Perhaps, but when you think about the exposure MAs have to healthy advice doled out to patients by doctors and even by the medical assistants themselves, it’s bound to have a positive impact on their own daily habits.
As the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported, doctors are increasingly focused on exercise as risk prevention, and medical assistants in their offices may be tasked with questioning patients about their exercise routines and adding those details to their charts, alongside traditional vitals like blood pressure, pulse and temperature. Meanwhile, MAs who work in specialist locations like weight management clinics may have more involved duties, including working directly with individuals struggling with their weight in order to help them lose the pounds and achieve their health goals.
To this end, aspiring medical assistants might take courses in nutrition and weight management on the way to earning their diploma, learning about the workings of the digestive system in addition to proper nutrition, weight control and strategies for promoting good health in patients. They might even learn how to overcome the natural resistance individuals feel about this drastic change in their daily routine. Even after becoming a medical assistant, you may have access to education and professional development programs that offer nutritional certification to help you not only learn about nutrition but also correlate it to your patients’ health, providing you with the tools to guide them into lifestyle changes to prevent serious health issues down the road.
And, if you’re like Brown and Aasen, all of this may just inspire you to become more healthy as well.
(Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, OregonLive.com, San Francisco Chronicle)