Are you considering school for the first time? Perhaps you’re thinking about making a career change and are looking into how to become a medical assistant. Either way, this guide is for you! Here, you’ll discover what medical assistants do, what their schedules are like, and what the future of the medical assistant job market looks like. We’ll even discuss how you can know if becoming a medical assistant is the right choice for you and the rewarding benefits that it can add to your life.
What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
Medical assistants work in physician offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities doing a wide variety of tasks. Often medical assistants will specialize in either administrative or clinical work. However, in smaller practices or hospitals, one might need to perform the tasks for both areas of expertise—it all depends on the size of the practice and your personal skill set. Here are some of the responsibilities you might find yourself doing in these two areas:
- Fill out insurance forms.
- Code patient’s medical information.
- Answer phones.
- Schedule appointments.
- Basic laboratory tests.
- Dispose of contaminated supplies.
- Sterilize medical instruments.
- Prep patients for x-rays.
- Draw blood.
What is the Work Schedule Like?
Although some medical assistants may work in hospitals or outpatient care centers, most work in clinics or doctor offices. For those who work in clinics or offices, their work schedule will be very much like a typical 9-5 job. They’ll typically work set hours Monday through Friday and have weekends off. However, some places may have extended evening and weekend hours to better accommodate patient needs. Medical assistants who work in hospitals or outpatient care centers may have alternative schedules.
Job Outlook: Why are Careers in This Industry Booming?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical assistant career field is expected to grow faster than the average job! It is estimated that from 2016 to 2026, medical assistant job opportunities will increase by 29 percent. In 2016, the number of medical assistant jobs was at 634,000. The expected increase should add approximately 183,900 jobs during that ten year time frame, taking the entire count above 800,000). The growth of the aging Baby Boomer population (72 million strong) and their need for medical assistance during this part of their lives is creating job demand. This increased need means that more medical staff will be sought after as this generation progressively ages.
Is the Medical Assistant Field for Me?
For starters, check out our infographic that is designed to help you figure out if you have the characteristics needed for a career in healthcare. Dig deep, ask yourself the following questions, and answer them honestly:
- Do I communicate well with others?
- Am I compassionate when it comes to others’ needs?
- Am I able to adapt to any situation that comes my way?
- Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others?
- Do you enjoy helping other people?
- Are you looking to get into the medical field without years and years of schooling?
If you’ve answered “yes” to each question, being a medical assistant just might be the right career for you! If you haven’t quite answered “yes” to each one but still feel driven to this career field, we want to help you follow your passion!
How Will I Benefit from Becoming a Medical Assistant
There are so many amazing benefits to pursuing a medical assistant career! First off, it doesn’t take too long to graduate—especially when compared to other medical degrees. At Hollywood Institute, for example, it usually takes a student less than a year to complete the program.
Second, this is a highly rewarding career field. You get to help people, be there for them, and build relationships. In most medical assistant job environments, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with patients regularly.
Third, you may have the privilege to work in a hospital or medical facility where you are a valued member of the team. In such an environment, you’ll work with doctors, nurses, and other staff members as you work together towards a common goal: the health and well-being of your patients.
How Do I Get Started in the Medical Assistant Field?
The very first thing you should do is start thinking about going to school. Hollywood Institute’s medical assistant program in Margate, Florida gives students more flexibility when it comes to their schedules by providing them with the opportunity to enroll in either day or night classes. Our program also requires students to do an externship so they can gain real hands-on experience before graduating.
If you thrive in a hands-on learning environment and are looking to enter the medical industry in less than a year contact our Margate location today!