If you’re looking to go into the healthcare industry, becoming a medical assistant is a great place to start. Medical assistants are essential members of the healthcare team, and they are highly in demand right now. The industry is expected to continue growing over the next few years due to the baby boomer population. Moreover, the training needed to become a medical assistant is fairly short. Once you enter the workforce, you will have the ability to advance in your position and increase your salary by obtaining additional certifications. With quick training, excellent job growth, and the opportunity to advance, medical assisting is a great industry for those who are new to healthcare or who already have experience.
What does a medical assistant do?
Understanding the rules and duties of a medical assistant prior to becoming one is really important. You may also consider shadowing a medical assistant for some time before you make a decision. This will allow you to get a better understanding of what they do, and you will be able to see if it’s a good fit for you.
Medical assistants have a diverse skill set. They offer support to a medical practice by performing both patient care duties and admin office duties. The clinical side of medical assisting involves working hands-on with patients. This includes administering medication, taking vital signs, recording patients’ medical histories, etc. On the administrative side of things, they will be responsible for things such as filing insurance forms, scheduling appointments, and billing.
Being a medical assistant requires good communication and problem-solving skills. You also need to have compassion and the ability to adapt fast, as you will be working in diverse settings. Medical assistants work under the supervision of physicians and other members of the medical team. Moreover, they work in specialized facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, surgical centers, etc.
Six Reasons to become a medical assistant
- Ability to work in any medical setting
Working as a medical assistant will allow you to have many options in terms of the setting that you work in. As a medical assistant, you can work in hospitals, outpatient care centers, health practitioners’ offices, clinics, private practices, etc. Moreover, there is a demand for medical assistants everywhere. If you choose to get the CMA credential, you can use it anywhere in the country; you won’t have to retake the test if you decide to move. It is recognized across the country.
- In demand
As the healthcare industry is growing at an accelerated rate, the demand for medical assistants continues to grow as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), by 2028, it is projected that there will be a 23 percent increase in medical assistant jobs. This is much higher than the national average, and this growth will primarily be due to the baby boomer population. A lot of baby boomers will be in need of medical attention, and medical assistants play a major role in the medical team.
- Advancement opportunities
Once you start working as a medical assistant, you will have the opportunity to advance in your career. You can obtain more certifications to earn more pay, and even become a lead medical assistant manager. You may also find that you want to delve into other sectors of the healthcare industry, such as nursing. Even if advancing your career means going back to school, the experience that you gain as a medical assistant can help you tremendously. You will learn the basics of patient care which can ultimately be applied to any career in the medical field.
- Quick training
Medical assistants do not always need a formal education to work in the field. Most places highly recommend getting an education and formal training, though. Additionally, medical assistants who have completed a certification or associate’s degree programs typically have better job opportunities than those without formal training. Most training programs can be completed in just one or two years. After the in-class lectures, students will have an externship where they will be able to apply everything they learned in the classroom. The externship is designed to help them go into the field feeling confident.
- Personal fulfillment
If you enjoy working with other people and being of service, the medical assistant occupation will likely bring you a lot of fulfillment. Assistants get to interact with patients all day and make a true difference. The responsibilities will vary depending on the setting that you work in. You may be responsible for greeting patients, doing admin work, or removing sutures.
As a medical assistant, you can work in many different settings. If you work in a hospital or emergency clinic, it is likely that you might have to work around the clock and on holidays, evenings, and weekends. If you do not want to work late nights or weekends, you can work at a smaller clinic or private practice. In many cases, you will probably be able to find a job opening for the type of shift and schedule that you want.