Entry Level Job Becomes Pathway to Medical Assistant Position

Author: John Ortega

"I love the people I work with and the work is never the same. I learn something new every day."



At 10 years old, Jenna Brotherton viewed a future career in health care as a possibility. By 16, she was certain of it. However, she was unsure about what field to enter.

The Everett High School graduate took a phlebotomy course while attending Lansing Community College, but the closure of a local Kmart in March of 2017 eliminated her job there and led to her getting hired as an environmental technician at McLaren Greater Lansing. Brotherton figured it would give her a chance to learn about the medical field from the inside out.

“I thought it would give me a more in-depth look at health care,” said Brotherton. “I was definitely thinking about that when I applied for the job.”

After making plenty of observations and asking numerous questions about various jobs in the hospital during her first year as an EVS tech, Brotherton decided she wanted to become a medical assistant (M.A.). She is now in her third year as an M.A. in the Multi-Specialty Clinic Internal Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“I love the people I work with and the work is never the same,” said Brotherton. “I learn something new every day.”

While gaining experience on the job, Brotherton also completed a 36-week medical assistant course at Ross Medical Education Center in Lansing and passed a series of tests before becoming a registered M.A. Attending class and taking tests occasionally required her to alter her schedule as an EVS tech but she said her manager was easy to work with.

“He was always supportive of people who wanted to branch out,” said Brotherton. “He definitely encouraged it.”

Aaron Milton, who began his career at McLaren Greater Lansing in 1992 as an EVS tech, was recently hired as EVS department manager after working as a supervisor since 2016. He said incoming employees have been encouraged for years to view a tech job as a possible pathway to a job in the medical field.

“We try to guide people toward their goals,” said Milton. “We want to see them succeed.”

Mason Ley, a recruiter in Human Resources and a previous EVS supervisor, remembers Brotherton as someone determined to move forward.

“She had her priorities where they needed to be,” said Ley. “She was always very focused on what she wanted to do.”

Brotherton feels she has found her calling.

“I am in a good position where I am at,” said Brotherton. “I like working with patients and enjoy interacting with them. I feel like I am good at what I do and that’s a nice feeling. I am grateful I was encouraged to pursue my goals.”

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