So you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a medical assistant. This is an important and fulfilling career. Medical assistants play an indispensable role in holding the healthcare system together. They’re the doctors’ most dependable partners and the patients’ most trusted healthcare representatives. Moreover, a career as a medical assistant can be very rewarding. Given the growth of the healthcare sector, there’s a growing demand for this profession today. The need for qualified and skilled medical assistants is growing on a national level, if not globally. Now is the perfect time to get started on this career, which will open a world of possibilities for you in the medical industry. In order to know whether or not this career path is the right one for you, you need to do your research first. If your dream is to become a medical assistant, there are resources online, e.g. Med Assisting that can provide you an opportunity to learn more about the specialties, educational programs, working conditions and the state requirements in this field.
Therefore, before you decide to take the leap, there are some questions you need to ask yourself first.
Are you willing to spend a year studying?
While there are no legal requirements for certification in many states—and you may find entry-level jobs with only a high school diploma—most employers will demand a certain level of qualification. Programs offering medical assistant training vary, but it’s safe to estimate that the average period of training you’ll get will range from 9 months to a year. During this period, you may be required to get a lot of practical training and do home assignments.
How good are you with people?
One of the perks of being a medical assistant is the ability to help people, but that means you have to work closely with patients and understand their needs. You’ll need to have impeccable communication skills to adeptly handle patients, doctors, healthcare managers, insurance companies, and others. Your work as a medical assistant will also involve dealing with other medical specialists, and it’s not only confined to the doctors you’re assisting. You’ll work with specialists across different medical departments, such as X-ray technicians, respiratory therapists, nurses, pharmacists, and more. This is why it’s essential for medical assistants to be good team players.
Do you have good multitasking and organizational skills?
You’ll find that you need to have exceptional multitasking and organizational skills to fulfill your duties. Your work will include many clinical tasks, ranging from taking a patient’s medical history to possibly administering medications. You’ll also have many administrative responsibilities, such as saving health records, scheduling appointments, or coordinating between different healthcare sectors. And you may be working on more than one patient. So attention to detail is also important.
Do you get scared or disturbed easily?
Let’s face it, your work will definitely expose you to the other side of human nature, one where the individual is suffering from illnesses or pain. If you are uncomfortable with bodily fluids or the sight of blood scares you, you’ll find it difficult to enjoy your work as a medical assistant.
How stable are you in tough situations?
Your role will demand a great deal of mental and emotional strength. You’re the face of hope for the patients; the first point of contact they come across. You’ll be faced with tough situations where you need to stay rational and take the proper action without making any mistakes. Since your work can be exhausting and stressful, it is important to maintain your stability.
Are you a quick learner?
In your line of work, you’ll have to face many situations that demand you rise to the challenge and learn on the job. It may feel overwhelming, but being a medical assistant means you’re willing to take on these challenges. And to do that, you need to grasp concepts and learn from experience in a brief period of time.
What are your career advancement goals?
Pursuing a career as a medical assistant can be great for those interested in advancing their career.. It will give you great insight into the healthcare system and how modern medicine works. It can be an invaluable experience if you want to pursue your career in other healthcare fields later. You can easily move on to a specialty in healthcare management, healthcare information management, physician assistant, or nursing for the next step.
Being a medical assistant is a rewarding job in a fast growing field that can also serve as an entry point to further study and employment opportunities in other health care fields. However, you need to make sure it’s the right career for you by asking yourself a few questions first. Depending on your personality, skills, mental endurance, and competitive spirit, the career may be the perfect fit for you.