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In Conversation with Medical Office Assistant Instructor Montana Robillard

A rewarding and hands-on career in the healthcare field doesn't necessarily take years of training to land. As a Medical Office Assistant (MOA), you can contribute to the efficiency and safe operation of any healthcare practice, qualifying for the role in as little as 33 weeks. Today, we’re in conversation with Montana Robillard, an instructor for Algonquin Careers Academy’s Medical Office Assistant program. “My role as an instructor is so fulfilling; I love being able to share my 10 years of experience and knowledge with groups of amazing students who are so willing to learn,” she says. 

Robillard notes some common misconceptions about the role of MOAs, saying: “I think a lot of people assume that Medical Office Assistant is a fancy term for a receptionist when in reality we are the ones in scrubs taking your blood pressure, height and weight, and even giving injections or doing phlebotomy. There is so much more to this career than answering phones and booking appointments. However, do not get too excited as we still very much answer the phone and book appointments – the great thing about being an MOA is that you can help in so many aspects.”

If you’re interested in learning more about what it’s like to work as a Medical Office Assistant, as well as the path to becoming one, keep reading to learn more about this field and training at ACA.

Benefits of Choosing the Medical Office Assistant Program

ACA’s Medical Office Assistant program has been equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in the field for years, involving 29 weeks of training and a four-week Clinical Placement at a healthcare practice. “A very large portion of our students get hired out of their placement and end up staying there full time, which is wonderful to see. We also have students who found their own placements and ended up falling in love with their office and the staff they work with and also ended up staying there full time. Your placement may not be where you would like to end up, but it is always a stepping stone in the right direction, and from what most of our students have said, they have enjoyed and learned so much but were also well equipped from our class,” says Robillard of the Placement aspect. 

Another benefit of ACA’s program is its flexibility, offering online training for students to allow them to accommodate their additional commitments. “Our online Zoom class has always still felt like a real classroom with instructors and students alike working tirelessly to make every day as fun and educational as it can be. I thought I would dislike working from home, but the students have made every day worth it,” Robillard notes.

medical office assistant training online
At ACA, you can complete your medical office assistant training online

Advice For Students Entering the Field

If you’re wondering what it takes to become a successful MOA, Robillard has some words of advice. “Do your own research; make sure to look into all the available positions for you when you are certified as a Medical Office Assistant, as the possibilities are endless,” she says. As for the most challenging aspects of this career path, Robillard acknowledges the difficulty in “keeping up with changes and technology, as the medical field is constantly growing and changing. Our students have to be keen on continuing their education every day, even out in the field.”

In addition to being aware of key strategies and challenges, it’s also important to be empathetic in order to succeed in this field. “Being empathetic is a skill most do not think they need to become an MOA, but it is one of your most needed skills in our field,” Robillard says. “You do need to be able to explain a health issue with a clear concise tone and empathy for your patient and their current issue.”


MOAs must have empathy when communicating with patients
MOAs must have empathy when communicating with patients

Get Inspired with This Story of Student Success

If you’re not already convinced to begin your medical office assistant training, you might be inspired by this success story Robillard shares about one of her former students: “We have so many great success stories, but one student in particular that comes to mind was working for the Queensway Carleton Hospital while she was taking her course, so naturally thought she would end up doing her placement there, well we had found a dental office that was very close to her home and worked better for her schedule and her children, she was nervous about leaving the hospital as she had been there for so long.”

“I am happy to announce that the student got hired full-time at the dental clinic; it is within walking distance to her home and works with her children's schedule. She could not be happier and rants and raves to everyone and anyone about how much her course equipped her and made her ready for her experiences. I am always grateful when my students use their own time to come back and let us all know how they are doing or send emails to me to brag about the awesome opportunity they got or a full-time position. It fills my heart with joy to see so many students loving their careers.”

Are you ready to earn your medical office assistant diploma?

Contact Algonquin Careers Academy today!