If you’re interested in a healthcare career path, you may be looking into medical assistant school. Medical assistants are key members of healthcare teams in medical offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. They perform a blend of administrative and clinical tasks ranging from managing patient appointments to taking vitals and assisting with medical procedures.
The job outlook for medical assistants is also favorable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nationwide job openings for medical assistants are projected to grow by 18% over the 2020-2030 period, adding up to 132,600 new jobs. That growth rate is more than twice the overall job growth rate of 8% over the same period—medical assistants are going to be in demand![i]
Before committing to a medical assistant training program, however, it’s worth asking yourself whether medical assistant school is the right fit for you. Here are a few questions to think through before making your decision.
What Subjects Do You Like to Study?
Medical assistants need to understand topics ranging from the fundamentals of the cardiovascular system to health insurance reimbursement. While you can get into medical assistant school with a high school diploma or GED, you will probably do best if you enjoyed science classes and have a knack for memorizing large amounts of material.
Course topics in the Altierus Career College Medical Assistant Diploma program, for example, cover all the major body systems, special patient populations, and office skills for different types of medical practices and healthcare settings.
Do You Want a Patient-Facing Job?
If you’re the kind of person who is naturally good at interacting with customers—making them feel welcome, helping solve problems, and answering questions—you could be right at home as a medical assistant. You should also be comfortable getting up close and personal with patients when taking vital signs or drawing blood samples.
If you know patient relations isn’t your strong suit, but are still interested in a healthcare-focused career path, you may want to consider a behind-the-scenes role such as medical billing and coding.
Do You Like Varied Tasks or Similar Tasks?
Medical assistants are at the center of the action in a medical practice. They do everything from taking phone messages to obtaining lab samples. If you like the idea of balancing clerical and clinical tasks throughout your day, the average day in the life of a medical assistant will probably suit you.
It’s possible for medical assistants to choose to specialize as they gain more work experience. You could potentially start out handling both administrative and clinical tasks and then become completely focused on one or the other. It will depend on your employer’s needs as well as the type of duties at which you excel.
Are You Interested in a More Clinical Career Path?
If you know from the outset that you want to focus solely on a clinical career path where you’re hands-on with patients most of the time, medical assistant school may not be the most satisfying training option for you.
You may be more interested in a surgical technologist training program, for example. Surgical techs prepare surgical instruments, sterilize operating areas, and assist nurses and surgeons during procedures. Surgical techs do have record-keeping responsibilities, but they don’t have the same front-office duties medical assistants have, such as scheduling appointments and helping patients with insurance paperwork.
How Long Do You Want to Spend in School?
Finally, consider how long you want to spend training for a new career path. If you have two (or more) years, you could opt for an associate degree program in surgical technology or another healthcare field.
If you want to get career-ready faster, medical assistant school is a great option. Altierus medical assistant students can graduate from their programs in as few as 10 months. Plus, our flexible approach to learning means students come to campus once per week for hands-on lab training while completing online coursework the rest of the time (with a laptop provided by the school).
In addition, we help students prepare for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. We’ll also cover test fees for one attempt at the exam.
Learn More About Medical Assistant School at Altierus
Think medical assistant school is the right choice for you? We’re ready to help. Learn more about earning your Medical Assistant Diploma with Altierus Career College!