The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Medical Assistant

Pros and Cons of Being a MA

If you’re interested in joining the team of thousands of individuals in our healthcare system, becoming a medical assistant is a great place to start. A medical assistant is a trained medical worker who works with other healthcare practitioners in a variety of settings. If you pursue this career path, you will be responsible for clinical tasks such as taking patient histories, getting vital signs, and doing basic lab tests, as well as secretarial tasks such as invoicing, scheduling, and bookkeeping. Of course, there are a plethora of other duties that you are capable of; this is only to give you an idea. In a nutshell, a medical assistant is a member of the healthcare support team who helps with many of the tasks needed to be done around the office.

The expansive field of medical assisting can leave you with tons of opportunity for growth and a stable work environment. Since the community of medical assistants is so adaptable and large, there can be a lot of questions when it comes to deciding if and why becoming a medical assistant is right for you? Let’s focus on the positive. How about we discuss the pros of becoming a medical assistant.

Your Duties Are Diverse

On the job your tasks can range from drawing blood all the way to filing papers. You truly will be capable of doing so much and this will give you a lot of experience. The list of tasks that you may be doing just gets longer and more diverse: checking vitals, prepping for procedure, screening phone calls, billing insurance, and scheduling. There is never a dull moment!

Diverse Settings

Just like you will have many duties as a Medical Assistant, you may also have many settings to accomplish these tasks in. You will be able to work virtually anywhere that requires a medical staff from general doctors offices to specialized surgery units even to hospitals. One little-known fact about working as a medical assistant is that you may embark on vacation assignments as well. Taking on a travel employment will effectively allow you to work and play at the same time. While working to support yourself, you may travel and experience the nation. When evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of working as a medical assistant, the ability to travel may be the deciding factor. Below is a list of places you may be able to work in.

  • Urgent Care
  • Diagnostic Labs
  • Pediatric Offices
  • Colleges
  • MBC Coding Departments
  • Chiropractic Offices
  • Emergency Rooms
  • Pediatric Office
  • Medical Research Centers
  • Retirement Homes
  • Rehab Centers
  • Cruise Ships

You Can Specialize

You can specialize in a certain subject even as a medical assistant. Pediatric, mental, and general medicine are just a few of the specializations available. Specializing in a certain field makes you a more appealing candidate to a company wanting to fill a specific job. When evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of working as a medical assistant, it's important to be sure you'll be satisfied in your workplace, and specialization is one method to do it. Below are a list of specializations or fields you can learn about if you are interested in pursuing this career:

  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • OB/GYN
  • Endocrinology
  • Family Medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Psychiatric
  • Pediatric
  • Internal Medicine
  • Transplantation
  • Urology
  • Women’s Health

You Can Get Certified

A certification in your profession is an excellent method to demonstrate that you are an expert in your subject. It is not necessary to be certified as a medical assistant in order to work as one. Nonetheless, it will help you stand out and make you more desirable to prospective employers. Getting certified just takes the right school and dedication. Once you are certified, that can be your golden ticket to a beautiful resume and a stable career to fall back on. Security and credibility can be achieved through certification. Highly educated medical assistants are in high demand, as they can immediately bring value to their healthcare team thanks to their specific skills and education. Specialty certified medical assistants are familiar with the intricacies of respective areas and are prepared to put their knowledge to use right away, aiding physicians and enhancing patients' experiences.

Getting Certified is Easy

Getting certified is easier than one may think. When you think of working in healthcare, years of schooling come into your head. Even thinking about the price of becoming a doctor and attending college for 6-9 years is scary. To get certified as a medical assistant, you won’t need more than a year. Just do you research and find a school near you. Next, call up that school and chat with an admissions advisor. After a few steps, you can attend classes in just a few days. Most medical assistant programs can leave you certified and getting a job through the help of a career services department in about 9 months. Getting a career in less than a year sounds like a good bet.

Online Education

The future is here! More and more schools and training programs are adopting the concept of online education. Getting your training through a certification or an associate degree program can now be done from the comfort of your home or truly anywhere with computer access. Online learning is great for people who have busy schedules and need less time commuting and more time dealing with other tasks they need to deal with. If you already have a job, remote education can be great or even if you just prefer it. There are so many different learning styles in the world and it would be a shame if someone wasn’t able to get an education just because it wasn’t accessible. Online education will provide you with the flexibility and peace of mind to get certified quickly; there’s also a chance it can be more affordable! Depending on the program you enroll in, you can even take a self paced course which can allow you to take your time or accelerate your program.

Financial Aid is Available For Those Who Qualify

Government financial aid may be an alternative for you to pay for your education if you qualify. Grants, loans, and scholarships are all possible sources of financial assistance. The best place to begin is by filling out a FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Many recognized trade schools are eligible for financial help from the federal government: Programs lasting more than 15 weeks are usually eligible for all types of federal student aid, including grants and loans. Only the Direct Loan program is available for programs that are less than 15 weeks long. For those who qualify, financial aid information can easily be accessed through your school’s FA department. Speak to an admissions advisor or an financial aid representative and they can give you a comprehensive outline of your schools fees and tuition and even help you apply for aid.

Tuition Reimbursement

Tuition reimbursement may be available depending on where you work. Medical assistants may be able to continue their study for free at some schools. All you have to do is guarantee the institution that you will labor for the specified period of time. If you quit your employment before this agreement is completed, you will be responsible for repaying the school for your education. This usually works because a school will compensate you for credits that you have earned toward a degree. This is a great method to boost your pay and develop your career for free.

Benefits of Working in Healthcare

Benefits packages for full-time medical assistants may include healthcare, vacation, holiday pay, sick leave, and a 401(k) plan. According to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), nearly all full-time medical assistants get benefits from their employers. Benefits such as paid time off and insurance give a lot of employees the security and freedom to leave healthy and peaceful lives. Many organizations will even put up a retirement plan for its full-time staff when they decide to retire. One of the benefits of working as a medical assistant is having a retirement plan. This will ensure that you have a means of sustaining yourself in your senior years when you simply want to unwind. You could even strike it rich and locate an organization that will match anything you deposit into your retirement account.

Job Outlook

A career as a medical assistant is predicted to expand 19 percent between 2019 and 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This fast increase can be ascribed in part to the fact that as people get older, they seek more medical treatment. Physicians will offer direct medical care, however when a physician is present, a medical assistant will support them with their daily tasks and play an important role in the healing process of their patients.A favorable work outlook is one of the top perks of becoming a medical assistant since it grows more quicker than other occupations. The potential of such advancement should give you confidence in your professional decision. The demand for medical assistants will continue to skyrocket as the years go on.

Flexibility

MAs have a very steady work schedule which may be a surprising fact to hear. The majority of MAs work in medical clinics that are only open during regular business hours. That means you'll probably have a steady work schedule, allowing you to spend quality time with other key people in your life while keeping a secure job that allows you to maintain a work-life balance. You'll have the option of working full-time or part-time hours, depending on your preferences.

Stability

If you’re looking for a stable field, healthcare is the one to go with. Healthcare has been around for as long as you can remember and it will be there long after you. As long as there are people who get ill, there will be others to take care of them and people like you looking to fill those spots. You will always have the opportunity to seek employment in one of these open positions which is good because it leaves you with a stable career. Even if you were to move or lose a job, there will always be another position waiting for you.

The healthcare environment is one that will always be present. There will always be sick people, and there will always be people who are seeking care. Based upon these two facts alone, you will always have a job. Always having a job and a way to support yourself and your loved ones are the biggest advantages of being a medical assistant. The job you perform as a medical assistant is essential in keeping the healthcare environment running. So, rest assured you have chosen a quality career.

CONS

Let's face it: health care is a career that requires you to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may work five days a week for eight hours shifts as a medical assistant, or you may work ten to twelve hour days. You might be working throughout the day, evening, or midnight on these 10- to 12-hour days. I'd also want to remind you that if you choose to work at a hospital, you may be required to work weekends or holidays. The hours you will be working might have a significant influence on whether or not a career is appropriate for you. When weighing the benefits and drawbacks of working as a medical assistant, the hours you work will have an impact on your personal and social life.

Several online medical assistant programs are presently available. Although online programs may be more convenient for certain people, they do not provide the face-to-face connection that other people require to study. Your queries will most likely not be addressed in real time since you will need to wait for an email response. This may make it more difficult to master the skills needed to work as a MA. Although many prefer online learning, that does not mean that every single person does. Everyone learns differently and it’s crucial we respect everyone’s learning style. If the only good medical assistant program near you is online, this may leave some people wondering if it’s worth it without any of the hands-on training they prefer.

The pros of the field definitely outweigh the cons, but it is up to each individual to decide.

Learn More at Southern California Health Institute Newsroom


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