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Tips for Advancing Your Medical Assisting Career

The healthcare industry remains one of the fields where career growth is unlimited, and medical assistants are among those professionals who have a high potential for career improvement. They can opt to specialize in almost any area of medicine they wish. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting careers have a job growth projection of 18% within the next ten years and are among the most in-demand allied healthcare careers of today.

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How to Advance Your Medical Assisting Career

There are various strategies medical assistants can use to work toward advancing their career. 

1. Get relevant medical assisting training

Medical assistants are not required to have a medical assisting diploma, but most employers prefer hiring those who have completed some training. Training provides some assurance for medical professionals and demonstrates a candidate’s basic skills and capabilities.

Medical assisting training programs are widely available and take roughly 10 months to a year to complete. These programs lead to a certificate or diploma, while two-year programs can earn students an associate’s degree. Basic concepts in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology are studied during the program. Students also get some clinical experience. 

2. Enroll in certification courses

Some medical assistants seek employment first and postpone their certification to a later date simply because they aren’t really required to be certified. However, to be the most attractive candidate for your top choice of employer, consider going one step further and becoming certified. Certifications such as CMA will help you stand out amidst a sea of applications. 

3. Master professional skills

After getting a medical assisting diploma and certifications, the next step is to master professional skills in the work setting. Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. Medical assistants can work on various tasks, so take every opportunity to learn and master new skills. Assigned to handle a new technology for maintaining health records? Take it! It can be your first step towards advancing a role in the workplace. 

4. Learn a new language

Medical tourism is booming, projected to have a market size of $40 billion by 2025. Medical assistants are the first to attend to patients and can play a huge role in promoting a more inclusive hospital setting. Patients who speak a foreign language appreciate it when their first point of contact understands them. It also helps other medical providers to understand the patient’s concerns. 

5. Train for a specialization

Medical assistants are highly flexible. They can dive into tons of career options once they have the proper medical experience, knowledge, and skills. As the medical industry continues to evolve and the shortage of medical doctors and nurses continues to worsen, medical assistants will find various roles they can fill

Training for a specialization doesn’t only look good on a resume, but it will also open up many opportunities for a fulfilling career in the medical field. Hospitals and clinics can assign medical assistants to specialized roles that offer better pay and working conditions. 

Those who know how to get a medical assisting diploma and wish to plan out their career path can explore specializations, such as:

  • Lead Medical Assistant
  • Clinical Office Supervisor
  • Medical Office Manager
  • Medical Records Head
  • Healthcare Administrator

These are only some of the potential specializations medical assistants can explore. Choose the one that matches your interests and career goals. 

6. Consider higher education

As mentioned, medical assisting can be a stepping stone to advance in a healthcare career. Medical assistants can easily transition to other medical professions and may become paramedics, nurses, or medical doctors. They already know the fundamentals of the practice and are familiar with the necessary skills to succeed, so the transition can be easier. 

While it may be tough to fit in higher studies while working as a medical assistant, it’s an important step for those who want to advance. Be open with your employer about your desire to advance in your career. Let them know that you intend to excel. This way, they’ll know you are ready to take on different roles within the organization.

Are you ready to dive into a career in medical assisting? Learn the steps to becoming a medical assistant today. 

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