Choosing the right career can be difficult. Health-care careers are prevalent and offer a variety of choices. Examples of health care careers include those classified as medical support jobs. These jobs refer to those that provide support and assistance. Medical support jobs include medical assisting, physical therapy assisting and certified nursing assisting. Medical assistants (MA) have a rewarding health-care career that provides them with the opportunity to work with patients of all ages and physical condition.
Individuals who gather information and consider all options often find it easier to decide which career is best suited for them. Factors like salary, training requirements and job industry are among those considered when picking the perfect career. A pros and cons list is a helpful tool used for making big decisions. It is a list of all plausible reasons for both the positive and negative sides of a subject. An individual considering a job as a medical assistant can use a pros and cons list to weigh the positive and negative sides of working as a medical assistant.
Medical assistants perform duties that involve more assessment techniques rather than direct patient care, which is a pro. Those interested in a career as a MA must possess the ability to develop a rapport with patients, pay attention to even the smallest detail and follow specific directions. A MA’s job duties include front desk and behind the desk tasks. Front desk duties involve greeting patients, gathering information and clerical work. Clerical duties require office skills and the ability to multi-task. Behind the desk duties involve patient assessment, readying patients for the doctor and providing treatment. Direct patient care refers to hands-on patient care including bathing, feeding, mobility assistance and incontinence care. Those with the desire to provide direct patient care should consider a career as a certified nursing assistant.
The opportunity to specialize in a specific area in the health-care field is a pro. Choosing a specialty lets MA expand their career, skills and knowledge. Employers look for MA who have specialized in specific areas to fulfill their hiring needs. It allows MAs to earn larger salaries. Specializations provide more job opportunities. Areas of specialization include pediatric, psychiatric, general medicine and education. Those who specialize in general medicine work with patients of all ages and conditions. Pediatric MA work with kids from newborns to adolescence. MA who specialize in psychiatry work with patients suffering from mental illness and distress.
The extensive job industry for medical assistants is a pro. MA are used in a wide variety of health-care settings and environments. They are hired to work in schools as educators or medical staff members who care for students, faculty and those visiting the campus. The job industry for MA includes jobs within hospitals, clinics and psychiatric institutions. Employment with a physician or dental practice is another option in the job industry for medical assistants. Each industry provides different options for work schedules. Some offer shifts everyday of the week with daylight, afternoon and night shifts available. Others offer weekday shifts with more business-like hours. This wide variety of employment options and opportunities allows individuals to choose the position that best suits their needs, which is a definite plus for those with families.
A MA’s salary may be considered one of the cons. Medical assistants earn on average earn between $23,000-$30,000 per year. Each employer will determine a MA’s salary upon hire. MA perform job duties similar to a licensed practical nurse (LPN). LPNs provide patient care and assessment, perform clerical duties and assist doctors with treatments and procedures, much like a MA. However, there is a huge difference between the average salary earned by a MA and a LPN. An LPN’s average salary ranges from $33,000-$45,000 per year. This number is significantly higher despite the similarities in responsibilities and duties.
Training maybe considered another con. Training costs, time and effort needs to be considered when choosing the right career. Medical assistants, in order to earn the highest wages, must become certified and licensed to practice medicine as a MA. Certification and licensing requires the completion of an accredited medical assistant training program. Once completed, the individual must then challenge the state licensing exam. The exam must be passed in order for the state to issue a license. Licenses expire after a set amount of time determined by each state. MA are responsible for maintaining their license. This requires the participation and completion of continuing education classes.
Job stress is another con for medical assistants. A MA job can become stressful during the event of certain circumstances. Dealing with the large amount of patients and their families can become difficult. Unruly or uncooperative patients must be dealt with. A MA must try to convince patients to be compliant with ordered tests, medications or treatments. Medical assistants find themselves performing tests, treatments and procedures that may cause their patient fear or pain. It is the MA responsibility to make the experience as good as possible. Dealing with patient, especially children, who may be critically ill or gravely injured, can become overwhelming. Those considering a career in medical assisting should consider their support system and coping mechanisms to assure they will be able to physically and mentally deal with the duties and responsibilities of a medical assistant.
Medical assistants are responsible for a wide array of duties. They perform physically and mentally challenging tasks. They must have the ability to multi-task. They need good organization skills. MA must be able to follow explicit instructions. They need excellent communication and people skills. Medical assistants are assigned a great deal of work to accomplish every day. They provide all preliminary patient assessments and exams. They must keep the office running efficiently by maintaining the office schedule, keeping supplies available and maintaining order among patients and families. One must ask if they are capable of handling the large amount of responsibility that comes with a career in medical assisting.
LPNs provide patient care and assessment, perform clerical duties and assist doctors with treatments and procedures, much like a MA. However, there is a huge difference between the average salary earned by a MA and a LPN.