Standing alongside every successful doctor, nurse practitioner, and health professional is a team of helpers who make sure procedures go smoothly and protocols are followed. It takes a village for healthcare to work the way it should, and medical assistants are instrumental members in that community of care.
Perhaps you have always been drawn to the lure of a medical field and dream of a rewarding profession in healthcare, or maybe you find yourself circling a career cul-de-sac with no foreseeable opportunities to drive forward. Either way, claiming the medical assistant career you crave is well within reach, especially with Hollywood Institute’s 900-hour curriculum that can be completed in as little as eight months.
What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
Before we dive into the details of our medical assistant classes and how to achieve medical assistant certification, let’s take a moment to review what a medical assistant does. You’ve no doubt encountered plenty throughout your life, no matter your age.
When you arrive at a doctor or physician’s office and get called into the back for your appointment, the person who shows you to the check-up room and takes your information is the medical assistant. They record all sorts of important information to get your visit off to a good start, such as gathering medical histories, measuring vital signs and preparing blood samples. Because of the sensitive nature of patient information, which is protected under numerous state and federal regulations, confidentiality and discretion are musts for medical assistants to exercise in their work.
But a strong moral compass is not all that’s required of aspiring medical assistants. The skill set of top-performing medical assistants is diverse because of the demands of the job. One needs the analytical know-how to understand countless diagnoses and decipher complicated medical charts, plus the interpersonal skills to put nervous patients who are in pain or under stress at ease in a professional manner.
Medical assistants also need to be detail-oriented, as precision in recording vital signs, administering medicines, and gathering accurate information is crucial to quality care.
Why Becoming a Medical Assistant Means More
Now that you know the responsibilities of a medical assistant, let’s explore some of the rewards. Beyond providing one of humankind’s most crucial functions — helping the sick, alleviating pain, and simply caring for those who need assistance — the life of a medical assistant is chock-full of perks and benefits that few other professions can provide. Here are a few:
1. Great money. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assistants averaged $17.23 per hour in 2020, or $35,850 per year. As you progress in your career and gain more experience, those numbers will only go up.
2. Growing opportunities. Thanks to an aging U.S. population and a sizable skills gap, the medical assistant field is expected to grow 29% over the next five years, which is a pace much faster than other professions. More patients require more doctors and more healthcare facilities, which means you’ll have the ability to pick where you work (and for whom you work).
3. Peace of mind. Plenty of career choices lack stability; becoming a medical assistant isn’t one of them. Once you are certified and employed, you don’t have to worry about a volatile job market threatening your employment status. Turnover for medical assistants is low, mainly because demand for quality professionals — and career satisfaction — is so high.
4. Sense of pride. We’ve all suffered through unfulfilling jobs. Flipping burgers or running a retail cash register just can’t compare with the life-affirming feeling you get when you help the sick recover and prosper under your care. Imagine the swell of pride you’ll feel when an ailing child flashes a relieved smile in your direction or when a scared parent breathes a long-awaited sigh of relief thanks to your dedicated work. Nothing compares.
5. Plenty of variety. As mentioned earlier, the job market for medical assistants is booming and will be for the next decade, if not longer. That reality not only means you can point to virtually any spot on the map and decide to work there — Portland, Oregon, or Portland, Maine, you decide! — but you’ll also be able to select the work environment that suits you best, whether that’s an outpatient clinic, a hospital or a private physician’s office. You choose your destiny!
6. Fast-paced work. Standing around all day performing rote tasks is boring. You won’t find monotony as a medical assistant, that’s for sure. Every day is an adventure when you’re a medical assistant, from the endless spectrum of patients you’ll encounter to the myriad procedures and treatments you’ll administer. If you like unpredictability and thrive in controlled chaos, this is the job for you.
7. Develop critical skills. Want to impress at a dinner party? You’ll have no shortage of tricks to showcase after achieving medical assistant certification, such as performing CPR, calculating blood pressure, taking one’s pulse, diagnosing medical conditions, and identifying interesting anatomy factoids. You’ll also be one of the most empathetic, communication-savvy people in any given situation due to the nature of your profession. Simply put, the skills you hone as a medical assistant will help you become a better human being.
Let’s Get Started!
So, what do you think? Are you ready to take control of your career trajectory and make a real difference in people’s lives? Hollywood Institute is among the best medical assistant schools in the nation and offers day and night courses to meet students’ needs.
When you’re ready to turn your medical assistant dreams into reality, reach out and request more information. Your destiny awaits.