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Start Date
Aug 29, 2022 4:00 PM
Due Date
Sep 5, 2022 4:00 PM
ARTICLE
Being “low on the totem pole”: What makes work worthwhile for medical assistants in an era of primary care transformation
Lai, Alden Yuanhong ; Fleuren, Bram P.I ; Larkin, Jennifer ; Gruenewald-Schmitz, Lynda ; Yuan, Christina T
Health care management review, 2022, Vol.Publish Ahead of Print, p.1-10
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Ovid Nursing Community College Extended Journal Collection
Available from 1997 volume: 22 issue: 1.
Details
Title
Being “low on the totem pole”: What makes work worthwhile for medical assistants in an era of primary care transformation
Author/Creator
Lai, Alden Yuanhong
Fleuren, Bram P.I
Larkin, Jennifer
Gruenewald-Schmitz, Lynda
Yuan, Christina T
Is Part Of
Health care management review, 2022, Vol.Publish Ahead of Print, p.1-10
Description
BACKGROUND: Primary care is undergoing a transformation to become increasingly team-based and multidisciplinary. The medical assistant (MA) is considered a core occupation in the primary care workforce, yet existing studies suggest problematic rates and costs of MA turnover. PURPOSE: We investigated what MAs perceive their occupation to be like and what they value in it to understand how to promote sustainable employability, a concept that is concerned with an employee’s ability to function and remain in their job in the long term. APPROACH: We used a case of a large, integrated health system in the United States that practices team-based care and has an MA career development program. We conducted semistructured interviews with 16 MAs in this system and performed an inductive analysis of themes. RESULTS: Our analysis revealed four themes on what MAs value at work: (a) using clinical competence, (b) being a multiskilled resource for clinic operations, (c) building meaningful relationships with patients and coworkers, and (d) being recognized for occupational contributions. MAs perceived scope-of-practice regulations as limiting their use of clinical competence. They also perceived task similarity with nurses in the primary care setting and expressed a relative lack of performance recognition. CONCLUSION: Some of the practice changes that enable primary care transformation may hinder MAs’ ability to attain their work values. Extant views on sustainable employability assume a high bar for intrinsic values but are limited when applied to low-wage health care workers in team-based environments. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Efforts to effectively employ and retain MAs should consider proactive communications on scope-of-practice regulations, work redesign to emphasize clinical competence, and the establishment of greater recognition and respect among MAs and nurses.
Publisher
United States
Source
Journals@Ovid Nursing Community College Extended Journal Collection
Identifier
ISSN: 0361-6274
EISSN: 1550-5030
DOI: 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000342
PMID: 35384916
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This library catalog is part of PASCAL Connects, a shared system supporting South Carolina academic library services. Funding for PASCAL Connects has been provided by the South Carolina General Assembly and PASCAL member institutions.

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