This week AFGE celebrates Medical Assistants Recognition Week, honoring the thousands of federal and D.C. government employees who provide important duties critical to the delivery of medical services in health care facilities operated by government agencies.
Medical assistants are responsible for increasingly complex clinical and administrative functions that support the missions of their agencies. At the federal and D.C. government levels they work alongside physicians and other providers at agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and the Indian Health Service. With their unique versatility, medical assistants are an integral link between patients and front-line providers.
“Working as a nurse in the VA healthcare system for more than 20 years, I can’t tell you how much I relied on medical assistants in delivering quality care to our nation’s veterans,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “The work they do helps keep facilities running and patients informed. AFGE is proud to recognize the dedication, passion and service of medical assistants.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting continues to be projected as one of the fastest growing occupations. In agencies like the VA, the demand for medical assistants and other support personnel who assist providers on a daily basis remains high as the agency works to keep up with the needs of the veteran population.
“The National VA Council is proud to represent dedicated public servants working as medical assistants,” said AFGE NVAC President Alma Lee. “Their work is essential to the health care experience of our nation’s veterans. As we continue our work addressing issues facing those working in medical assisting, we celebrate their contributions to the health care field.”
AFGE continues to work on a range of issues impacting those working in the medical assisting profession, including safe working conditions, fair pay and adequate staffing. Medical assistants are also a key focus of AFGE’s ongoing campaign to stop arbitrary downgrades affecting large numbers of VA lower wage employees.