There’s a lot that goes into transitioning to a new career—especially when you have a family. The years and money that often get poured into earning a degree can seem burdensome in a number of ways. The best thing you can do for both yourself and for your family is to study up and make a careful decision, rather than jumping into something new without fully understanding what you’re getting yourself into.
Whether the idea of working in the medical field has been a long-time dream placed on the back burner or a newly-sparked interest, a medical assistant career can be a great place to get your start in the healthcare industry.
We know you don’t take this decision lightly, so we’ve compiled this list of reasons why there’s no better time than now to become a medical assistant.
But first, what does a medical assistant do?
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a minute to understand the role and responsibilities of a medical assistant (MA). These professionals are first and foremost concerned with patient care, and this can be put into action in a number of different settings ranging from working in a large hospital to working in ambulatory care.
The ultimate goal of maintaining patient care can be translated in a variety of ways. MAs work under the direction of a supervising physician to perform necessary administrative and clinical tasks. Some of those administrative duties include updating patient records, scheduling appointments and handling various tasks in relation to patient billing and insurance.
Medical assistants also have their fair share of clinical responsibilities. This includes assisting the physician in taking and recording patients’ vital signs, explaining procedures, administering medications, drawing blood, sterilizing equipment and conducting a variety of tests in the lab.
9 reasons to become a medical assistant
Now that you have a solid understanding of what a medical assisting career entails, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of pursuing this profession.
1. Jobs are increasing faster than average
The healthcare industry as a whole is rapidly growing, and the same is true for medical assistants. MA jobs are projected to increase by 23 percent through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is more than three times faster than the national average of 7 percent.
This hasty growth can likely be accredited to the Baby Boomer population, who are now requiring more medical attention as they age. That direct medical care will be administered by physicians, but where there’s a physician, there tends to also be an MA providing a helping hand for all of those necessary medical procedures.
2. You can enter the field quickly
One of the biggest positives of medical assisting is that the job is accessible, especially when compared to some medical careers that can take years of college. The most straightforward path is earning a Medical Assisting Diploma, which can be completed in as few as 12 months.* Most Medical Assisting programs will incorporate a blend of classroom and laboratory work that include lessons in anatomy and medical terminology.
3. Certification lands you in a licensed trade
Most aspiring medical assistants choose to take the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam. The test requires a broad and intensive understanding of healthcare implementation, and although studying for hours and hours probably doesn’t sound ideal, all of the information gleaned will prove incredibly useful once you land your first job.
Passing the exam earns participants the credential of CMA, as accredited by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). This credential isn’t required by all employers, but it can definitely increase your marketability in the field. It is highly coveted and will permanently mark you as a professional in your field.
4. You can work in a variety of different settings
Where there are physicians, there are also medical assistants who help them make things happen. You might be the type of person who enjoys variety, or you may just be concerned with finding the right fit for you within the profession. Well, don’t worry, because as an MA you’ll have plenty of options.
Medical assistants are actively working in a number of different healthcare venues: In hospitals, in clinics, in private practices and in ambulatory care. The BLS reports that in 2014, more than half of all MAs were employed in physician’s offices, or clinics. Other common settings included hospitals, offices of health practitioners and outpatient care centers.
5. Schedules are predictable
For many professionals in the healthcare industry, there is a requirement to work long, irregular hours. As a busy parent, you’d prefer not having to be on call in the middle of the night or during your child’s soccer game. You’ll be happy to hear that for the most part, MAs enjoy a fairly steady work schedule.
As mentioned above, most MAs work in medical clinics, which are typically only open during standard business hours. That means you will likely work a predictable work schedule, leaving plenty of time to enjoy much-needed time with the family.
If you do enjoy working the odd shifts, becoming a medical assistant at a hospital is an option you may consider pursuing. You’ll also have the option of working full-time or part-time hours, depending on your preferences.
6. The career is stable
Watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy or reading Facebook posts from friends who work as registered nurses has likely informed you that working in medicine is a non-stop job. There is a need for surgeons, nurses and medical assistants alike 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
While professionals in some industries are unsure of their future in the field being replaced by technology, you can rest assured that there will always be a need for your abilities. As long as there are people with ailments and illnesses, there will be a need for medical assistants. Even the healthy patients undergoing routine checkups require the work of an MA.
7. You can work anywhere
The skills of a medical assistant are in demand in hospitals and clinics across the country. Considering a fresh start in a new state? Or maybe you have to move for your spouse’s job. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to find a new position regardless of your location.
And if you do opt to earn your CMA accreditation, that credential will follow you wherever you go. The CMA credential is recognized across the country, meaning you won’t have to get re-certified to meet a different state’s requirements.
8. It can be a gateway to greater things
Becoming a medical assistant can be the perfect way for newcomers to begin their journeys into the medical field. It has more than enough potential to become a fulfilling, lifelong career in itself, but if your dreams span a bit further than that, this can be the first stepping stone of many.
A medical assisting position can be a great way to get your feet wet, determine how much you enjoy working with patients and potentially propel you to earn a nursing degree or work toward becoming an office manager in a medical setting. Building your skill set through medical assisting is a great place to start.
9. It is a fulfilling career
There is hardly a greater accomplishment for a caring people-person than to work in a field that strives to help people on a daily basis. Working face-to-face with patients and with their dedicated physicians can be both encouraging and inspiring.
What better way to teach your children about the importance of helping people than to dedicate your career to it? Working as an MA takes a lot of heart and dedication, and is likely to be a career in which you can take unending pride.
We know that your family is your first priority, and for that reason, you want to be absolutely sure about your intended career before investing the time, money and effort of a degree program. The list above proves there are many perks to becoming a medical assistant. But the decision is ultimately yours.
If you’re convinced that a medical assistant career is the change you’ve been seeking, plan out your next steps with our article, “How to Become a Medical Assistant: 5 Steps You Can’t Ignore.”
*Time to complete is dependent on accepted transfer credits and courses completed each quarter.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in September 2014. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2017.
This is a three-part guide to assist you in writing a detailed research essay on medical assistant as a profession. The first part of this guide is all about interesting and informative facts. We have accumulated 19 in-depth facts to help you research on this topic.
Professors love to put their students to test and this topic isn’t a very conventional one. However, we promise you that you won’t find a better and more collective analysis on the subject of medical assistant as a profession. Other parts of this guide will be explained to you once you go through all the topics.
Here are 19 facts on the profession of a medical assistant for a research essay:
- Most medical assistants are required to perform and assist in routine tasks and day to day tasks pertaining to patient care. They are also required to schedule appointments, maintain medical records, keep a check on bill, code certain information for life and insurances purposes, prepare patients for examinations and medical tests, and administer dosages to patients.
- It’s one of the fastest growing careers in the world, with high demand and very good salary packages. The employment rate in this field specifically has grown by 31% between 2010 and today. That’s remarkably higher than all other fields in medicine.
- Medical assistants have to be experts in recording patient history and medical report writing as one of the basic functions of their job description is to maintain patients’ medical history records.
- Medical assistants have to be trained in laboratory sciences to manage lab specimens and deal with them accordingly.
- Medical assistants themselves have to be physically fit, have good hand-to-eye coordination as well as good motor skills in order to perform their jobs efficiently.
- Medical assistants are almost entirely responsible for running the doctor’s offices. They can find jobs in every field of medicine including podiatry, obstetrics, podiatry, and medical weight loss.
- The job can offer flexible hours, and most assistants are able to earn good money while managing their work schedule between various offices and clinics. This also helps them work in a variety of circumstances and learn more, which ultimately results in a higher experience level coupled with an increased pay.
- The working conditions for medical assistants are favorable as well. They work in well-furnished offices with proper lighting, though the job requires them to interact and deal with people from all walks of life. The job may also be stressful depending upon the circumstances a doctor and his team may have to deal with.
- The varieties for medical assistants to specialize in any of the medicine fields are endless, and so are the career paths. Approximately 60% of medical assistants work in clinics and doctors’ offices in the US.
- The field is rapidly changing and equips employees with real-world experiences to grow and handle the human conditions in the world.
- Most medical assistants pursue this career choice because like all professions concerned with medicine, this isn’t only a way to earn a good living, but also a way to serve people and look after their wellbeing. Medical assistants mostly report feeling more fulfilled than other career oriented people due to the fact that their work is considered as directly serving humanity.
- Most medical assistants are highly qualified, however one does not need a certificate to start a career as a medical assistant in most states.
- According to a recent survey conducted in May 2015 in the US, the median income of a medical assistant was recorded at $30,590.
- Formal training is not often required, apart from the obvious educational choices. This fact also makes students flood into this field as they may be given opportunities to train on the job and learn firsthand from practicing doctors.
- Another fact that makes this field so lucrative is that medical assistants are able to formulate their own work schedules according to what suits them best. This allows them to juggle between various specializations, learn more, and ultimately earn more.
- Various titles for medical assistants include dental assistants, dental hygienists, licensed practical and vocational nurses, surgical staff team members, medical machinery operators, historical patient record maintainers, health information and technology technicians, nursing assistants and ward supervisors, therapy, aids & trauma assistants, pharmacy technicians, just to name a few.
- The agencies that accredit and certify medical assistance are The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
- Even the training on the job may vary and depends on the field the medical assistant chooses to pursue. The duration of the training varies accordingly. It is generally thought that ton-job-training for medical assistants takes a shorter time span compared to formal doctors and surgeons.
- Medical assistants have a lot of room to diversify their future career path as technology advances and the field of medicine expands further. They may one day find themselves in the shoes of corporate employees in the hospitals/clinics or choose to train under doctors’ supervision to become certified doctors themselves. They might also branch out towards medicinal research and development, choose a teaching job in addition to their regular job or become professional paper writers on medicine etc. The opportunities are endless and the pay scale is expected to constantly increase in the field of medicine.
We’re quite sure you found these 19 facts interesting as well as beneficial towards your own research. As we mentioned earlier, this is a three-part guide. The next part of this guide called: 20 topics on the profession of a medical assistant for a research essay will take you a step further. And the third part, how to properly research an essay on medical assistant, will give tips on research.
- Booth, K. A., Whicker, L., & Wyman, T. D. (2014). Medical assisting: Administrative and clinical procedures including anatomy and physiology. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Medical Assistant Careers: Duties, Training & Job Outlook. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from http://www.medicalassistantcertification.org/career-center/
- Medical Assistant Job Description. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from http://www.snagajob.com/job-descriptions/medical-assistant/
- Medical Assistants. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from https://collegegrad.com/careers/medical-assistants
- What Does a Medical Assistant Do? (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/what-does-a-medical-assistant-do/
- What is a Medical Assistant? (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from http://www.aama-ntl.org/medical-assisting/what-is-a-medical-assistant#.V46FUkZ97GI
- Linton, C. B. (2002). Medical abbreviations and acronyms. Boca Raton: BarCahrts.
5.00 avg. rating (91% score) - 1 vote
Tags: medicine essays, research essay help, research essay writing