Why Become a Medical Assistant?
Before taking the “plunge” and signing up for a vocational training program, it is a good idea to do some self-assessment. When we asked a number of medical assistants in our medical assistant forum what it was that attracted them to the medical assisting career, they pointed out that they like the relatively short training time compared to nursing (and other highly technical medical professions) and that they wanted to build a meaningful career in a field where they can make a difference in their community.
- Likes – what is it I would like to do? What do I enjoy doing the most?
- Family – will I have the necessary support while I am a student, do I have small children?
- Cost – how will I pay for tuition, books, uniforms, materials and supplies?
- Funding sources – do I need to locate funding, financial aid, or scholarships on my own?
- Employment – will I continue to work while I also juggle household, family and school?
- Job market research – are there plenty of positions in my area, are the doctors hiring?
- Preferences – are doctors looking for certified medical assistants and experience?
These aspiring medical assistants also realized that employers have raised the bar so that it has become more difficult to land a position without prior job training and experience in the field. While certification remains largely voluntary for medical assistants, it is becoming largely the norm for doctors who hire medical office staff.
When asked about their benefits and pay, medical assistants agreed that it should be better, considering the enormous workload they are expected to handle, but they also were quick to add that the clean work environment, the respect and recognition and the 40-hour work schedule, working 9 to 5 by far outweighs the somewhat low take-home pay.