Becoming a Certified Medical Assistant | Hadley's Story

July 29, 2021

Hadley Passamani had always shown interest in how she could help people live healthier lives – that’s why she decided to pursue a career in healthcare. She began by moving from Iron River to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to become a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in May 2018. Hadley was fascinated by how this therapy can help people reduce stress and relieve muscle tension.

After returning to the Upper Peninsula in December 2019, Hadley decided to explore more career paths within the field of healthcare. While researching possible college program options in the UP, Hadley saw an opening for a Patient Service Representative with UP Health System – Marquette Family Medicine, and she decided to apply. As a Patient Service Representative, Hadley would help patients navigate their visit to the clinic by greeting them when they arrive, scheduling their appointments, organizing important paperwork, and more.

Soon after starting the position, Hadley asked the Clinic Manager about any opportunities for professional development that might be available within UP Health System. That’s when Hadley learned of an education program for select employees that would cover college tuition to become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA).

“I had been planning to eventually return to school for this certification, so when I learned of this program for employees, I told my manager right away that I was very interested!” said Hadley. Though she knew it would be challenging to work full-time and simultaneously enroll in courses, Hadley felt she was meant to be in a role that involved more direct patient care.

To earn the certification, Hadley learned about how Medical Assistants play a role in patient care. The 12-week course covered skills like how to draw blood, explain treatment procedures to patients, maintain organized and compliant patient records, and more. Now nearing the end of the 12 weeks, Hadley is in the final stretch of coursework before she can complete the national certification test to earn her certificate.

Although Hadley already had a solid understanding of working with the human body from her previous training as a massage therapist, she felt that those who are new to the field of healthcare could still do well in this program. “If you want to help people by working in healthcare, this opportunity is excellent and will help you along the way. The course has been very thorough, and our team in Family Medicine is very supportive and welcoming,” said Hadley.

Many individuals who become a CMA then go on to become Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, Lab Technicians, EMTs or Paramedics, and more. “There are so many different careers within UP Health System. I know someone who started in a custodial role, and after discovering they enjoyed working in the hospital environment, they decided to pursue becoming an EMT,” said Hadley.

As a leader in rural healthcare, UP Health System’s vision is to create places where people choose to come for healthcare, physicians want to practice, and employees want to work – whether you visit the main hospital or any of our clinics across the Upper Peninsula. One way to show staff support is by offering these opportunities for professional development, like the CMA program.

“I am forever grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to taking the test and earning my certificate,” said Hadley.

To learn more about career opportunities with UP Health System – Marquette, visit