The term, “Medical Assistant” really doesn’t mean much. You have to dig a little deeper into the category to get a good idea of what job you want and how to obtain it. However, there’s no sense in rushing to conclusions. Do you know what types of jobs are out there, and are you prepared to find the one that fits you best?
Basic Categories of Medical Assisting Jobs
Generally speaking, all medical assisting jobs fall into one of three categories: administrative medical assistants, clinical medical assistants, and specialized medical assistants.
- Administrative medical assistant. Jobs in this category are administrative in nature. While working in a healthcare setting, your primary job will consist of managing the business side of the practice. Typical tasks include setting appointments, organizing records, executing general accounting and billing responsibilities, and communicating with patients.
- Clinical medical assistant. On the clinical side of things, medical assistants work directly with doctors, physicians, and patients. Common tasks include prepping patients for medical exams, documenting vitals, assisting the physician during exams, performing minor exams, and recording medical histories.
- Specialized medical assistant. The final category refers to specialized medical assistants. These are assistants who’re proficient at one or two specific tasks. These types of jobs are more common in large practices and typically require extensive training and experience.
Three Job Opportunities
While most administrative medical assisting jobs are similar in nature, clinical and specialized positions can vary drastically from practice to practice. Here are some job opportunities you may run across:
- EKG technician. In the coming years, the demand for cardiology technicians will increase significantly, providing a great opportunity for medical assistants interested in various heart diseases and conditions. In order to become an EKG or cardiology technician, you may have to complete some additional coursework after finishing your general program.
- Podiatry assistant.Podiatry’s a huge medical field that focuses on various conditions and injuries of the feet. Medical assistants typically help physicians with duties like post-surgical care, preemptive exams, wound care, casting, and even minor surgeries.
- Chiropractic assistant. For clinical chiropractic assistants, many of the skills they obtain are acquired through hands-on training. Job duties depend on the practice, but typically include tasks like assisting with treatments, recording patient histories, educating patients on treatments and procedures, and performing basic, non-invasive treatments.
Tips for Landing Your First Job
The hardest job to land is often the first job. Somebody has to be willing to take a chance on you, and you must be willing to pay your dues. Typically, this requires some level of compromise or sacrifice on your part. Here are three tips for securing that elusive job opportunity:
- Start at the bottom. You can’t expect to start at the top – even if you’re an adult with other career experiences. Any time you enter a new industry, you must show a willingness to work your way up. In the medical assisting field, entry-level positions may require you to enter data or work the front desk. Prove yourself here, and you’ll be able to move up.
- Accept a temp job. Just because a job has the label of “temporary” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept it. Temp jobs give you a chance to get a foot in the door and often lead to more permanent positions.
- Finally, if you can’t land an entry-level or temporary job, don’t be afraid to volunteer. Few practices will turn down qualified volunteers, and this is a fantastic chance to increase your network and land a job down the road.
At Orion College, we prepare our students for a wide range of careers in the medical assisting field. Whether you’re looking for a job that’s clinical or administrative in nature – or a blend of the two – we can help you to become qualified and knowledgeable. For additional information regarding individual courses, accreditation, admissions, or anything in between, please reach out by contacting us today!