The Greatest Benefits of Becoming a Medical Assistant
Ever since the formal establishment of medical assisting in the 1950s, the profession has been a critical component of the thriving healthcare industry. Medical assisting is a great path for individuals who seek a career in medicine, and since the complexities of healthcare are growing every day, doctors and nurses must rely on skilled, trustworthy medical assistants to keep offices running smoothly.
When studying medical assisting in Utah, you should expect to complete a quality, hands on program and be in the field making a difference in around 10 months for diploma programs (associate degree programs will take approximately a year longer, but from our experience, the majority of employers find MAs with diplomas adequately qualified for the tasks medical assistants perform throughout their careers). But that’s just one of the many benefits — you’ll be a vital member of your facility and make a huge investment, not only in your community, but also in yourself.
You’ll constantly refine your communication skills
Along with administrative and clinical responsibilities, working with all kinds of people — both coworkers and patients — will be a huge part of your job. These duties require strong communication skills and the ability to work well as a member of team. While you’ll learn how to do the functions of your job in your medical assisting program and externship, there is nothing better than on-the-job training, especially when it comes to the art of communication.
Listening to patients, answering questions, and taking direction from physicians takes time to perfect. Knowing what to say (and when to say it) doesn’t happen overnight. However, with some practice, refinement, and experience, you’ll learn how to effectively interact with different personalities, ages, and professionals in any situation that’s thrown at you. And through this process, you’ll become a strong medical assistant and an even stronger person.
As a medical assistant, your days will be very busy. Every role will change depending on the office or practice you’re in, but wherever you work as a medical assistant you’re almost guaranteed job variety. You’ll check patients in, take their histories and check their vitals, and then turn around and answer phones, return messages, and fill out billing and coding forms. In essence, you’ll never be bored! Performing a variety of tasks helps fight off job stagnation and gives you the opportunity to learn soft skills, along with clinical specialization that probably attracted you to the job in the first place.
Related resources: This Is What Your Career Could Look Like As a Medical Assistant
The hours aren’t crazy
It isn’t unusual for nurses and physicians to work long shifts or to be roused from a deep sleep by an emergency. As a medical assistant, one of the perks, especially if you work in a clinic, is that your schedule will mimic a more traditional work schedule. You might occasionally end up staying late, working on the weekends, or working a holiday or two, depending your office, but you won’t see the scheduling demands of other healthcare professions, and you can look forward to enjoying a normal work-life balance.
Related resources: 10 Things You Never Knew about Medical Assisting
Room for advancement
Because medical assistants provide a range of support to clinics and hospitals, there is plenty of room for advancement for those who excel and work hard to become experts in as many functions as possible. If you can master your job, become a top-notch communicator, and work well with those around you, you’ll be in prime position to move up to a management position.
Medical assisting can also be a launching point for hospital administration or other healthcare careers, such as nursing, radiology, medical coding, or specializations that require more training or education. The great thing about medical assisting is that you have many, many options after finishing your MA program and working for a few years afterward. You’ll also have a leg up on fresh faces entering the industry because you’ll already have a solid background in healthcare — and the experience to back it up!
At Ameritech, we love the passion and drive our current and past medical assistant students bring to the field of medicine. If you’d like to join them, please feel free to reach out to us with any and all questions you have. We’d love to hear from you!