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How to become a medical assistant

Did you know that according to the US Census Bureau, the health care industry annual revenue totals up to $1.668 trillion a year? Based on this figure alone, 64% of the revenue is derived from patient care. These figures are looking very attractive indeed especially for those who are thinking about venturing down the path of a medical assistant.

The health care and social assistance arena is where it’s at if you are looking for a stable, fulfilling career. With health care providing several hundred thousand jobs a year, there is definitely no shortage of jobs for adept medical assistants, especially since health care is thought to be recession-proof. No matter how many ups and downs are reported in the general economy, people still suffer from illnesses and various other medical conditions. From this fact alone, everyone can see how medical assistants are very much in demand all the time, allowing them endless job opportunities and attractive possibilities.

Stepping stones to becoming a great medical assistant

Unlike other specialized profession in the medical sector, medical assisting is pretty much flexible and versatile. If you cannot afford or choose not to take up a lengthy medical assisting course in the beginning, you may elect to apply for unofficial on-the-job training. Alternatively, you may choose to enrol in online training, hybrid training or even get certified as you work your way up. No matter what you choose, you should know that ultimately you would want to gain the best certification you can afford as employers are known to hire the best medical assistants who have acquired a properly accredited program.

Here are some options that may help you decide how to be the best medical assistant you can:

Unofficial education – If you are not able to sign up for official training due to personal or monetary reasons, you may opt to enrol for on-the-job training. However, this path is not for the faint of heart. Even if you ARE earning money as you learn, the pay may only be substantial enough to support a modest lifestyle. Armed only with your high school diploma or GED, you need to persevere and undergo intensive training from medical professionals who are confident enough to hire untrained personnel such as you. If you are confident that this is the path for you, then congratulations are in order because while this might not be the easiest path to be a medical assistant, it is definitely a most accessible stepping stone for ambitious and persistent individuals.

Accredited Programs – With the health care arena being so profitable, it’s no surprise to find more and more colleges, universities and vocational schools offering accredited medical assisting programs. Depending on your choice of education, you may find yourself a diploma holder in as little as nine months or even a degree in less than two years.

If flexibility is what you’re after, you may want to look into signing up for an online medical assisting course. While you get to enjoy flexible scheduling and endless resources on the Internet, you will still be required to complete an externship prior to graduation.

Preparing for the real world

For many new medical assistants, a common misconception concerning their duties is that they are usually required to perform only basic tasks such as taking vital signs and keeping records. Little do they know that they may also be asked to give injections and assist with phlebotomy. The best thing to do is to open up your mind and be prepared with endless career possibilities. You will definitely lead an interesting career dabbling in lab work, patient care, administrative paperwork, rooming patients and just being a capable assistant to grateful health care practitioners.

Filed in: Medical Assistant

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