What satisfactions has being a medical assistant given you? I ask Rosalie García Bernal, a Hispanic who has worked in the health field for more than 30 years; and for whom speaking Spanish, it has allowed him to better serve Hispanic patients.

  • I have worked in various departments, but where I have liked the most is where I am now, in Gynecology and Obstetrics because I can accompany women on their journey for 9 months to become mothers and establish a relationship with them.

“Then they invite me to their son’s birthday or to the christening. A life relationship is created. I have also been able to see the growth of women abused by their husbands and how by leaving them, they start a new life. I like to see children being born and for women to know that they are mothers, wives, but also people who can do things ”.

Rosalie promotes the “Nuestro Futuro” campaign to attract more Latinos and Latinas to health careers.

The non-profit organization Futuro Health launched the “Nuevo Futuro” campaign to offer 1,000 Latinos who reside in Southern California and whose first language is Spanish, a free course online preparation for English used in the medical field, as a first step to work in what is known as allied health careers.

Rosalie García Bernal for five years has been promoting that more Latinos participate in health careers. (Courtesy Rosalie García Bernal)

These include Physician Assistants, Certified Nursing Assistants, Respiratory Therapists, Radiology Technicians, Licensed Vocational Nurses, Care Coordinators, among other. All of these careers require a high school certificate and training, not necessarily a college degree.

Rosalie is the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents. He was born in Gilroy, California, and raised in San Jose, California.

Although her dream was to be a nurse and she met all the requirements to start her career, her now husband got in the way, she got married and became a mother. They currently have three adult daughters aged 35, 26 and 21; and a 3 and a half year old granddaughter.

Her occupations as a wife and mother, led her to choose a career in the health field that did not take many years of study. This is how in 1984 he signed up to study as a medical assistant. Two years later, in 1986, he began working at a pediatric clinic in San José. But it didn’t take long as in 1988 he found employment at Kaiser Milpitas in Northern California. Since then he has worked as a medical assistant.

How does a day start for a medical assistant?

  • I leave my house at 5 in the morning. I drive an hour and a half to get to my work. I start at 8:45 am, but I like to arrive earlier.

“The first thing I do is disinfect the area. Then I verify that the doctor I am assigned to has the instruments and equipment she needs to work. I see that the patients have sheets and pillows. I look at the procedures that my doctor will do during the day such as ultrasounds, biopsies to have what she will need ready.

“Every time a patient finishes their consultation, I go back to disinfecting and cleaning. I also act as a chaperone, when the doctor goes to check on someone, I am by her side; And before they come to see her in her office, I took their blood pressure, weighed them, I asked them questions; and I put your information on the computer.

“I also support the doctor with video consultations.”

Rosalie says the day is rushing by. “I only worry about my doctor, but now we have a shortage of staff; and sometimes we support other doctors ”.

Rosalie Bernal García, 30 years working as a medical assistant. (Courtesy Rosalie Bernal)

What difference does speaking Spanish make?

  • When the patient sees a face that speaks to them in Spanish, they open up more, we gain their trust and they feel more comfortable. Many times they tell me, ‘Thank God, you speak Spanish.’ They feel calmer when they find someone who speaks their language so they can ask questions. Wow! You speak Spanish, they tell me, many times with gratitude.

Rosalie admits that she leaves her job tired, but satisfied. “My rating has always been between 90 and 100%.” He attributes his good grades to always being kind to patients.

How are the salaries of a medical assistant?

  • At Kaiser, we have two raises a year; and after 5 years of work, the hourly wage is $ 31. When you start, the salary is around $ 27. I have to say that the union has helped us a lot, but I don’t know how much they pay in private clinics ”.

Does the salary go up for a medical assistant who speaks Spanish?

  • 25 cents per hour at the first level, and 55 cents at level 2.

Rosalie assures that although she cannot say that it has been easy, she cannot complain about her income. “My husband is a physical therapist assistant. Between the two of us we have three houses. During the 6 years that he stopped working to study, I kept the home and we sent the daughters to university, only with my salary ”.

To register for the English preparation course for students who are fluent in Spanish, visit: http://www.tunuevofuturo.com or call 1 (855) 463-8580. You have up to six weeks to sign up.

Futuro Health is a non-profit organization established by Kaiser and the International Union of Health Care Workers (SEIU-UFW). The goal is to recruit 10,000 healthcare workers by 2024.

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