How can you transition from school to the real world of work? Medical assistant programs provide pre-professionals with the training they need to start a career in the healthcare field. Whether you're considering medical assistant school or you recently completed a medical assistant associate degree, take a look at what you need to know to get your first job.
Get Your Degree
Without the right degree, you won't find a medical assistant job. If you're still in high school, want to change careers, or have only taken general college courses, the first step on the road to medical assisting is an associate or other similar degree.
Before you choose a program, make sure it gives you the credentials you'll need to work in a medical setting. Review the curriculum and practical experiences the school provides with an admissions counselor, and ask about job placement assistance.
Know Where to Look
While hospitals and doctor's offices are the primary places medical assistants work, these aren't the only options. As a certified medical assistant, you can also work in outpatient care centers, chiropractic practices, or other healthcare-related agencies.
If you have a preferred specialty or a specific population you want to work with, a general primary care physician's office or hospital may not provide you with the challenges you want. Specializations mat include pediatrics, OB-GYN, geriatrics, or mental health.
Get Real-World Experience
Some medical assistant degrees require completion of an internship or externship for graduation. This type of practical experience gives students the chance to work in a real-world environment. While an internship or other similar practical for-credit course requires you to complete many of the duties a medical assistant would, you'll work under the supervision of a qualified professional.
Write a Standout Resume
With a new degree and freshly earned practical experience, you're ready to start a job search. Before you apply at a hospital, doctor's office, or other jobs, you need a standout resume that sets you apart from other candidates.
A resume should highlight your educational background, applicable internships/hands-on work, and everything else you can bring to the job. Even though you may have years of experience working in other fields, if your past work doesn't relate to medical assisting, you may not need to add it.
Some non-medical assisting jobs may have duties or aspects that apply to the healthcare field. If a past job involved working with people, using problem-solving skills, or in any other way relates to the medical environment, include a brief description in your resume.
For more information about medical assistant programs, contact a local medical school.