The health care field is growing fast. More than two million new jobs from radiography to nursing will be created through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today, students interested in a career in medicine can choose from a wide range of dynamic and rewarding professions, but there are seven good reasons why attending a medical assistant program may be just what the doctor ordered.
Reason 1—Launch a New Career in Months
Health care workers have a lot of responsibility, so employers want applicants who are well educated and prepared to give their patients the quality service they deserve. But many careers in medicine take years to train for, and for some people, spending that much time in school isn’t a lifestyle-friendly choice.
Students attending a medical assistant program full-time, however, can be out of the classroom and ready to earn in just seven and a half months. It’s a perfect choice for adults who want to train for a new career while still caring for their families.
Reason 2—Learn and Earn
Giving up a job to go back to school can be tough for students with life commitments, but medical assistant programs are flexible. Students who need to earn while they learn can choose take advantage of evening classes so they can do both. It takes longer to complete the program in the evening, but students can attend stress-free knowing they’re free to choose personal priorities and meet competing needs.
Reason 3—Enjoy Small Class Sizes
Smaller class sizes are ideal for adult learners. Students are more able to engage with instructors and peers, while teachers have more time to focus on student needs.
Reason 4—Learn Hands-On
Medical assistants put a lot of focus on practical skills, although theory is taught as well. Instructors teach using real-world examples and use the same type of office, laboratory, and clinical equipment graduates will use in their future practice.
Reason 5—Benefit From Externships
Making the transition from the classroom to the workplace can be difficult for some students. To ease the transition, better medical assistant programs offer externships, which provide students supervised opportunities to work in medical environments to enhance their learning experience.
Externships last weeks and allow soon-to-be graduates the ability to work side-by-side with experienced members of their medical field. Students can practice what they’ve learned in a health care setting while observing how seasoned medical assistants approach their work.
As an added benefit, externs learn more about potential employers as they work to earn references. They can also make professional connections by expanding the network they started in school to include medical assistants working in the field.
Reason 6—Apply for Financial Aid If You Qualify
Medical assistant programs may qualify you for loans and grants through federal financial aid. Some schools may offer additional financing options and payment plans. Advisors work with students to match them with the best financial aid program available for their unique circumstances.
Reason 7—Placement Assistance
Graduating from a medical assistant program is an accomplishment, but it’s just the first step in finding a job. Among similar occupations, medical assisting is one of the fastest growing. Demand is expected to grow 23 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the job market is always competitive, and school-based career counselors can help with services, including these.
Vocational schools work hard to make connections with area health care providers so that when jobs are available, they can help their students to network and schedule interviews. Many job postings in the United States are never made available to the public. Instead, employers prefer to list them on job boards in places where large numbers of qualified applicants will see them, including Career Services advisors at vocational schools with a program in specific fields.
Medical assisting is a broad field with diverse opportunities, yet positions aren’t tailor-made for individuals. No two students are the same, and each has strengths and weaknesses, making some a better fit for certain jobs over others.
For people who haven’t worked in the health care field yet, knowing what to look for when applying for that all-important first job can be intimidating. Career Services advisors help students get to the bottom of what matters to them most, enhancing employment decisions.
A good résumé captures the attention of an employer and is likelier to result in an interview, but research shows that almost half of résumés never reach a hiring manager because of errors or poor formatting.
A résumé should be applicants’ best effort, a visual representation of the best quality work they can do. Keeping up with expectations is challenging. Career Services advisors are among those most familiar with the type of résumé employers want, and they can help students put their best foot forward.
Vocational school career counselors can help students make a lasting impression at an interview. Coaching topics include dressing for success and how to ask and answer common questions. Only one person who interviews for a job will get it, so preparation counts.
Many jobs that medical assistants apply for require additional skills, and for students without a work history, a vocational school that assists with other areas of career development is a plus.
Offering additional services that bolster critical competencies, such as computer literacy, helps students be better prepared for the workplace and gives them an advantage in competitive environments.
Why Become a Medical Assistant?
With so many interesting jobs in health care, thousands of students nationwide choose a medical assisting career for these reasons.
It’s Never Boring
Doctors’ offices are fast-paced, and medical assistants are the logistical specialists who keep things running smoothly. Trained in both administrative and clinical procedures, they have a wide range of responsibilities in different areas of the practice. It’s always busy, but it’s rarely boring.
As an industry, health care is among the most exciting, as it evolves continually. Medical assistants are among the first to learn about new advancements in medicine and technology.
A job pays the bills, but a career should offer more. Medical assistants work to make a positive impact in the lives of others, and at the end of the day, they know what they do matters. Patients depend on them not only for medical services, but also for making the whole health care experience more personal. Making a difference is a gratifying and motivating feeling.
It’s Well Respected
Medical assisting isn’t a new occupation. It’s been recognized since 1956 and is backed by professional organizations, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants. Both the public and other members of the health care team appreciate what medical assistants do, and as roles expand, so does professional respect.
It’s Team Oriented
Medical assistants are vital members of a health care team devoted to providing quality care. They can make confident decisions, knowing they have the support of other professionals working toward a common goal. Working in a medical office feels more like a team sport than an individual race.
Careers in medicine have benefits, but a regular schedule isn’t always one of them. Hospitals are open 24/7. Doctors, nurses, and hospital technicians work nights, weekends, and holidays, and most spend at least a weekend a month on call for emergencies.
Most medical assistants, however, work in offices with Monday through Friday schedules. With a regular schedule, medical assistants enjoy a positive work/life balance with plenty of time for other commitments. And because the need for medical assistants is growing, employers are increasingly offering flexible part-time positions or job-sharing arrangements. Some urgent care centers and practices may offer evening or weekend opportunities as well.
Many medical assistants are happy in their jobs for a lifetime, but training can also serve as a springboard to higher education and greater opportunity. With experience, general medical assistants can learn a specialty and become certified, opening the door to a more satisfying field, or they can build on their training with additional education, becoming office managers, nurses, and other medical professionals.
Students who want a career in medicine have options. The industry is growing across the board. But medical assisting programs are what many others are not. They’re quick and flexible, and the benefits are enduring.
Did learning about reasons to attend a medical assistant program interest you? Ready for an exciting new career in the medical assisting field?
The Medical Assistant program at Hunter Business School prepares competent, entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains required for professional practice.
The Medical Assistant program provides hands-on experience in a real medical setting where you can foster professional relationships with actual patients. Medical Assistant students spend 160 hours in an externship in a real-world medical environment where they are supervised and taught in order to gain valuable on-the-job training.
Contact us today to find out more about how to become a medical assistant on Long Island.