Here are the steps you'll need to take to get a medical assisting instructor job...
If you've been a medical assistant for any length of time, you may think that it's time you started giving back to the medical assisting community. One great way to do this is to become a medical assistant instructor and help students find their way in this exciting field.
However, becoming an instructor isn't as easy as being a medical assistant and working for a number of years.
Different colleges and schools have varying requirements for what they expect from a medical assisting instructor candidate.
Most of them expect some sort of advanced degree for someone who wants to teach. If you truly want to make a career out of teaching medical assistants, you'll likely have to further your education and dedicate your career to the educational side of medical assisting.
A medical assisting instructor job involves more than just teaching students about what it takes to become a medical assistant.
You'll be expected to instruct courses and meet prescribed course objectives and competencies as laid out by the governing body of the school.
You'll need to use a variety of teaching implements, such as lectures, slide shows, overhead projections, lab studies, and group projects, to teach students the information that's required to complete the course.
Demonstrating laboratory procedures, such as drawing blood, is also something an instructor would have to be proficient in to teach students how to perform the skill.
Instructors have to be able to empower, motivate, and compel students towards their goals by teaching them a positive mental attitude and giving them a sense of confidence.
You'll have to control the classroom and hold students accountable to time schedules, homework, and attendance policies, and you may be called upon to arrange clinical experiences for the students.
As an instructor, you'll be an adviser to students, and will help them navigate the course work for the program they are enrolled in.
Of course, other duties will be assigned to you as necessary.
Medical assisting instructors need to have a background in medical assisting. You can become a medical assistant by going to school for your degree, but some educational paths are going to help you towards becoming an instructor more than others.
For instance, you can very quickly become a medical assistant by getting a certificate or diploma from a secondary trade school. You'd not get any college credits for this, though.
The best course would be to pursue medical assisting education through a junior college or as part of a larger college and get an associate's degree in medical assisting.
It will take longer and cost more, but you'll be able to take the credits that you earn from this degree and apply them towards a more advanced degree.
To get a medical assisting instructor job, many schools require that you have some form of degree beyond a simple associate's in medical assisting. This will get you on the right track from the beginning.
Once you graduate from medical assisting school, you need to get certified with a national certifying body to solidify your expert standing in the field.
The American Association of Medical Assistants, or AAMA, offers the credential Certified Medical Assistant. This credential is considered the gold standard for certifications in the medical assisting world.
Read more about medical assisting certification.
To keep your certification, you have to maintain your CPR card that you get through your medical assisting school, and complete continuing education hours in clinical, general, and clerical categories.
Keeping your certification is often a prerequisite to keeping your medical assisting instructor job.
When you become an instructor, it will be important for you to maintain these continuing education hours to maintain your certification, keep up on the changing field of medical assisting, and provide your students with the best information on the field possible.
A medical assisting instructor needs experience in medical assisting. Most colleges and schools require 3 to 5 years experience before they will even consider a candidate for possible employment.
Of course, the more experience you have in the field, the better you'll be able to educate students on how to perform clinically. You can also bring a view of the wide world of medical assisting to the students you teach.
Working in a doctor's office is only one of the many places that a medical assistant can find employment. If you worked 20 years in a doctor's office, that is great experience to share with your students.
But experience from other venues is helpful, too. If you work in a hospital, a clinic, or a laboratory, you can open up your student to the exciting possibilities that medical assisting has to offer them in these places as well.
From your experience in the medical assisting world (whatever it may be), you stand as an example of how to be a professional and what is possible for the student after graduation.
It takes more than just a medical assisting degree, a certification, and some experience for most schools to give you a medical assisting instructor job. Some schools require that you have a bachelor's degree in any subject, and some require as much as a master's degree.
There are even a few schools that require an applicant to have a college background in education to be able to teach medical assisting in their school.
A few colleges will accept registered nurses as medical assisting instructors, but the most important requirement is that you are able to complete the skills that you are teaching your students.
Some colleges require certification in teaching in addition to the certification that you must hold as a medical assistant.
The requirements for medical assistant instructors vary from state to state and college to college - it's best to do some very thorough research before you pursue this line of work. Before you invest the time and money on a degree, see what the colleges in your area require of their medical assisting instructors. Good luck!
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