There are a lot of jobs out there. If you’re just looking to snag a paycheck every two weeks, there are nearly infinite options to support yourself. You can mow lawns, work in the service industry, work at a burger joint, work retail, etc. But at some point in your life, you will probably find yourself wanting a career. What’s the difference between a job and a career? It’s a valid question. To break it down in the most simple way, a job is something you do to get some cash – quite possible a temporary fix to a long-term problem (I use the word problem in the sense of ‘math problem,’ not a troubling situation; we all must solve the equation of how to secure funding in our own lives in order to care for our basic needs and those of our family). A career, on the other hand, is a long-term goal centered on a specific skill set and/or lifestyle. Jobs are certainly part of a career, but a career is much more than a series of jobs. One of the primary things to consider when choosing a career is job security. Is there a need for it? How is the industry? Do you have any peers working in the field? If so, what feedback have they given? The medical industry will never cease to need hard working individuals, and being a medical assistant could be the perfect career for you.
First, let us understand the role of a medical assistant. When you visit a doctor’s office, there are many preliminary things that occur before a doctor/specialist/nurse practitioner checks you out. In addition to performing administrative tasks such as paperwork or confirming future appointments, medical assistants may perform blood tests, blood pressure checks, etc. Depending on their certification they may also perform other duties. In short, they prepare patients for their visit with the doctor. There is a no way a doctor could perform all of these important duties in addition to providing the primary care. Therefore, a good medical assistant is essential to any doctor, regardless of specialty or area of focus.
One of the benefits about medical assisting as a career path is the flexibility you have while becoming certified. Online courses are available to those who prefer studying at their own pace or are unable to attend standard classroom lectures. Regardless of what your life looks like now – work, family life, etc. – you can make time for your coursework while not ignoring other responsibilities.
Are you a compassionate person? Can you get along with just about anyone? If so, you’ll be a great medical assistant. Imagine all of the various people you’ve met at different points in your life. Some of them are happy and easy to talk to. Some of them seem upset all the time. And some of them are just plain weird. Now, imagine all of those different people going to the doctor. They all have to interact with a medical assistant at some point, and their experience will be that much better if said assistant is courteous, professional and wants to be at work. Having a positive attitude and outgoing personality will not only make your work easier, it will improve the overall well-being of each individual patient.
Another great perk of working as a medical assistant is the front row seat you have to the medical field. You’ll learn how to keep yourself healthy as well as discover the ins and outs of various health specialists. You may even decide that you want to further your own education and change your career path as a health specialist, and working alongside other health professionals will help you determine if that path is right for you. In other words, you don’t have to stop at medical assisting if you don’t want to.
If this sounds like you, what are you waiting for? Find out how you can get started on your career path, and don’t look back – a lot of people out there need you.
Putnam Samuels is a freelance writer. He focuses primarily on arts, culture, current events, career and health issues. He lives in Boise, ID with his mixed breed terrier mutt.
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Why You Should Consider a Career as a Medical Assistant