7 reasons medical assisting makes a great first step into healthcare
Did you know that physicians make up only about 7% of the total number of individuals working in health care? Dozens of other critical occupations make up the rest – from the licensed practical nurse (LPN) that assists with medication administration and diagnosis during an appointment, the surgical technologist that makes sure everything runs smoothly in the operating room and the occupational therapy assistant (OTA) who helps a patient return to their previous quality of living after an operation.
At the center of many of these other health care occupations is medical assisting: it provides aspiring medical students with their first step into the exciting world of health care employment, equipping them with some of the core concepts and skill sets that will later transfer to medical careers higher up the ladder. And while you can start training as an LPN or OTA, medical assisting can be a better starting choice for several reasons.
Medical assisting lets you see if the medical field is for you
There really is no other career field like health care, with some of the best opportunities for fantastic pay, exciting work and the chance to help others. But maybe you find you just don't excel in a hands-on medical setting. Medical assisting provides you with a lower-commitment opportunity to take the field out for a "test run" and see if it really is your calling before spending a significant amount of money or time on a more intensive medical career path. And many of your credits can be transferred to a more administrative path such as medical billing and coding.
You can complete most MA programs in less than a year
If you don't have the patience or money for a bachelor's degree, medical assisting might be the answer for you, as they are generally some of the shortest programs in health care to complete. For example, Sacramento Ultrasound Institute offers an accelerated Medical Assisting Program that is just nine months long, making it one of the most accessible ways to get started in health care.
It gets you a strong starting wage
The average wage for a medical assistant in the Sacramento Metro Area is over $17 an hour, or about $36,000 a year, making training as an MA one of the best investments of your time.
Lots of stability
In many fields, you have to worry every day if it might be the last one on the job, as turnover can be very high: This isn't the case with medical assisting. There is a strong demand for medical professionals, and MA is no exception, with low turnover and low unemployment. All this means is you can count on your career as a medical assistant, not going anywhere. "The demand for qualified new graduates continues to grow," said Patricia Bradshaw, program director of the Medical Assisting program at Sacramento Ultrasound Institute. "And we expect that to increase as the current workforce continues to age in the Sacramento Area."
You will be in demand
Job opportunities for medical assistants are expected to grow 29% by 2026. That's over four times the national average for all occupations! Talk about being popular. This skyrocketing growth provides plenty of career opportunities, making it easier for you to find work almost anywhere that you go.
You are prepared to branch out into many other paths
As medical assisting covers some of the more core medical concepts, you will have a strong foundation for continuing your education and building on your previous credits in other fields. Maybe you want to go on to become a nurse or train for the operating room: starting off in medical assisting makes this much more accessible.
A chance to make a difference in someone else's life
A professional, informed, and compassionate medical assistant can make a big difference to the overall experience a patient has during their time at the doctor's office or hospital. You can be there for people during their more challenging moments, and that can be incredibly rewarding. It's important to feel fulfilled in your work, and medical assisting provides that opportunity.
Are you interested in taking the first step into the world of health care? The Medical Assisting program at Sacramento Ultrasound Institute provides students with the best tools to prepare for their career in the medical field.