The medical assistant job is growing at a much faster rate on the global scale than any other job in the world. Even in highly developed countries, most professions have a growth rate of about 4%. However, the medical assistant job is said to have a growth rate of 19% to 23%. This makes it a very lucrative career prospect for anyone, especially in the coming decade.
A medical assistant usually helps the doctors in performing specific clinical procedures and monitoring the patients. They also deal with a lot of administrative work in the hospitals. In fact, many people with majors and skills in other fields are now applying for medical assistant jobs because this field is now being combined with other subfields. However, just like any other job, being a medical assistant has its advantages and disadvantages.
In case this career sounds like something you might be interested in, know that there is a certain process of becoming a medical assistant. You have to sit for an exam, which will have questions regarding the specialization you want to take for your assistantship. Note that it is quite a competitive exam and requires you to work to your full potential. If you are still in two minds about this profession, we have listed the major pros and cons of being a medical assistant to help you decide if this is a profession for you.
The prospects of job growth as a medical assistant are quite significant. This continues to increase as the years go by due to the world’s aging population and the number of elderly people rising worldwide. Some people already have different medical conditions which require a lot of care and attention. There are others who do not have severe medical conditions but believe in preventative medication. Both of these subsets of the elderly require different management styles and knowledge to be handled with care. Doctors’ offices and clinics are always in need of more medical assistants.
In most western countries, you do not require a college degree or a medical degree to become a medical assistant. Different schools teach you skills, and their durations are much less than the traditional 3-5 year college degree duration. These schools are responsible for imparting allied health skills and knowledge to the students, and they usually take a minimum of 6 months. Moreover, this also helps students lower their possible student loans and start a professional career much earlier than anticipated. You can also get certified diplomas from vocational schools, and they are completely valid as well.
One of the most important aspects of a job as a medical assistant is getting on duty almost as soon as you get in. It is a job that requires a lot of hands-on experience so that you immediately understand what the doctors and the administration expect of you. You also learn various parts of different subfields as you deal with medical examinations, insurance companies, coding, and software. It is genuinely a job that requires you to be good on more than one front.
If you are someone who loves to interact with people from all walks of life and want to get to know them better, this is a job that can help you do that. Being a medical assistant means that you have to spend time with patients and colleagues a lot more than you usually would as a doctor in the same facility. You not only help doctors and nurses perform their duties more efficiently but also help patients transition into a situation where they can deal with complicated medical procedures and situations more easily.
This is one of the biggest gripes that people have with the medical assistant profession. Allied health is a service that does not have a 9-5 limit, which means that as a medical assistant, you may have to be available to patients at all times. It could be at any hour of the day or night. Moreover, the schedule that a medical assistant has is liable to change daily, depending on the operations, tasks, or patients that they have to take care of on that particular day. Shifts can also drag on for longer than expected.
Another issue of being a medical assistant is that your job is not strictly restricted to being a health worker. You also have to deal with the likes of insurance companies, guardians of patients, clinical procedures that need to be prepped before the nurses and doctors take over, and technical tasks such as managing the EKG machines and even coding software relevant to the hospital’s services. You may even have to take up mandatory specialization courses to do these extra jobs.
Medical assistants often work a job that is under the strict guidance of laws relevant to their country. A small mistake that can inadvertently lead to a major risk to the patient’s health can make you liable to a lawsuit. This, in turn, can jeopardize your entire career path. Although the chances of this happening are actually relatively low, it is good to know about these risks before deciding to take up this course.
Although medical assistants earn quite a lot compared to people with the same amount of experience in other professions, their wages are relatively low compared to other professionals such as nurses and doctors. This is bound to increase in the coming years as the demand for specialist medical assistants is rising. At the moment, it is relatively less for a job profile that is supposed to deal with multiple aspects and responsibilities.
The pros and cons mentioned in the article will undoubtedly help you get an idea if the medical assistant profession is the best fit for you or not. If you like to contribute to humanity and earn rewards as salary and growth, medical assisting is the field for you. Medical assistant schools in the United States offer a vast number of programs. You can choose the best-suited one and kickstart your career.
Margaret Jones has been a writer and is currently working as the editor and creator at FMAP (FindMedicalAssistantPrograms). The website has been built to share data and insights for the people out there looking to serve the community by being medical assistants. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge for the betterment of the MA prospects and society as a whole.