A guide to the most common places to get medical assisting jobs. Kickstart your career with our expert advice...
You finally got your medical assisting degree, and you couldn't be happier. Now you want to go out and get a job, but you don't even know where to start.
Doctor's offices are the most common place that a medical assistant can find a job, but there are a few other places that use medical assistants if those places seem to have dried up on you.
Don't get into the trap of thinking that the only place you can work is a doctor's office. The great thing about a medical assisting degree is that you now have skills that can very easily be put to use in a wide variety of venues.
You likely have skills in:
These skills, among the other skills you have learned, can be easily maneuvered into an exciting job in the health care industry outside of a doctor's office.
Doctor's offices are your number one place to find a medical assisting job, but you can expand your horizons in this area and find different places to work.
Instead of just thinking about general practitioners, why not think about chiropractors, optometrists, and surgeons?
There are many types of doctors out there and they all need medical assistants. Even dentists use medical assistants because the ability to take a history, keep up with billing, and arrange a chart is pretty much universal.
Think in terms of specialties, too. Gynecologists, cardiologists, and gastroenterologists need help in their offices.
If you work in a small town, you might have to drive a distance to find specialists like this, but you will find that they can offer you jobs that will open you up to an exciting new world of medical assisting.
A doctor's office doesn't have to be boring, and it doesn't have to be that place down the block. You can work for a cutting edge transplant surgeon and see some pretty wild things.
Hospitals can be a goldmine for medical assisting jobs because they need so many medical professionals around the clock.
Medical assistants can work in the registration and receiving departments that take patients into the hospital and prepare them for surgery.
If your medical assisting program had classes on transcription, you can find work in hospitals doing transcription work of doctor's notes that they call into dictation.
Most medical assistants learn to draw blood, so you can work as a phlebotomist on the floors, drawing blood from patients. Hospitals also have laboratories, and medical assistant are trained on how to run simple diagnostic blood tests. You could get a job running blood work in the hospital lab.
You have many skills that make you valuable to a hospital. Even if they're not specifically looking for a medical assistant, there are still jobs in the hospital that you are qualified to do because of your training. Apply for what you have been taught and reap the benefits of a hospital career.
If you want to use your phlebotomy skills, then working in a laboratory is the type of work for you.
As a medical assisting student, you learned how to draw blood, how to process blood, and how to run tests on it.
This makes you valuable to laboratories who specialize in getting people in the door and drawing their blood. You'd be able to become an expert in venipuncture and use your people skills in getting to know the patients you care for.
If you decide to actually work in the lab, you'd have to pay attention to detail and take care of the paperwork that comes with running tests on blood and blood products.
Some laboratories even have registration staff, so you may have a shot at getting a job as an intake specialist in some larger laboratories. However, many phlebotomists do their own patient paperwork processing when taking care of patients, so you would likely be responsible for both.
Laboratories could also hire medical assistants to help with medical records and patient charts outside of the direct patient care and lab processing job. Medical assistants are experts at charts and medical records, and labs need someone to help them process all the paperwork.
Clinics abound, and a savvy medical assistant knows her skills are in demand at these places.
You can find clinics for drug and alcohol rehab, pain management, wound care, and just about any specialty you can think of.
A group of doctors get together and pool their resources to form a clinic. They need medical assistants to greet patients, take care of records, and escort patients to the exam rooms. Medical assistants can also draw blood, take histories, and obtain vital signs from patients in the clinic.
Since the doctors sometimes come and go, you'd be employed by the clinic itself and not the doctor. This can provide a certain sense of autonomy since you're not at the whim of a doctor's will.
Some doctors may not like your style if you work at a doctor's office, but in a clinic, you work for a company. This can be a benefit if you find yourself clashing with doctors in private practice.
Health insurance companies may seem like a long shot for a medical assistant, but if you think about it, they make perfect sense.
These companies are more concerned with patient histories and medical records than most doctor's offices, and that's what you would primarily be doing for a health insurance company. You'd be taking care of patient records, sorting, filing, and organizing the paperwork that patients generate to the insurance company.
Most medical assisting programs include a course in insurance billing and coding, so you'd put these skills to use in the health insurance company to make sure that everyone was getting paid the correct amount of money.
If you want to work with patients, you could even work as a customer service representative for a health insurance company and talk to patients about their coverage.
As a medical assistant, you have a wealth of skills that these companies are looking for, and all it takes is a creative mind and a resume to get them.
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