Medical Assistant Training – Is It For You?

It Takes a Special Kind of Person to Want to be a Part of This Industry

Two medical assistants talking in a medical office hallway

It Really Does Come Down to the “Soft Skills”

So, you are thinking about becoming a Medical Assistant, and are concerned about the training. Perhaps the thought of school is intimidating; the word “school” brings a lot of emotion with it, sometimes even fear. The unfortunate reality is a good number of people have not had empowering or even tolerable experiences in a school setting. Let’s explore what it really means to take this kind of career training compared to a traditional academic environment.

First, A Different Kind of Learning

Remember the days of “sit still, listen, memorize, say it back?” This learning style works for some students, but not all. Many people who do not consider themselves academic still do enter into the medical field through a skills-based school. This doesn’t mean there won’t be textbooks, but it does mean that the way you learn will be much more active; actually, maybe a better word is interactive. A great quote that embodies this philosophy comes from Ben Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Next, A Different Kind of Person

Oh yes, we all have that image of The Caretaker; the parent figure, the one that sacrifices, the always-giving martyr. As you can probably guess, the type of person who enters this field does have a lot of those attributes, however, they are also willing to learn more effective ways of managing and channeling these natural tendencies.

A Medical Assistant becomes a partner in health to those they serve, and an expert in customer service for the office they work with. Imagine an experience you had where you needed help, and the person who helped you was the most helpful of helpers who ever helped. They listened, made sure you were comfortable, insisted on going that extra mile and never once made you regret interacting with them, or asking for assistance.

Yes, the ability to be organized, use computers, take effective notes and pay amazing attention to details are certainly very important. If you look further into the industry, however, you will find that successful Medical Assistants have a little extra focus on working side-by-side with their patients, working in cooperation to make a person’s journey to health as stress-free as possible.

And in Conclusion, A Different Set of Priorities

If you have the time and finances to put your life on hold for 4 years or more, raise your hand. We’re willing to bet that to the majority of you reading this, the thought of that is very stressful. Taking that huge slot of time out of life is a really difficult thing for a lot of people, and “difficult” may not be a strong enough word.

People come to realize that Medical Assistant training is for them for many, many different reasons, and all of them boil down to priorities. Children, rent, bills… none of these situations lend themselves very well to the waiting needed with traditional school. So there is the first priority for people looking into medical career training; efficient learning to be able to return to the workforce as quickly as possible with as little life interruption as possible.

And we can’t neglect the work/life balance. You may find that most of the Medical Assistant careers available to have “regular office hours.” There are many people who thrive in shift work and can enjoy non-traditional work settings. We have found, however – especially when family is a huge priority – those who choose to enter this field enjoy the regular hours, knowing that they have evenings and weekends to take care of home life and recharge.

Is a Medical Assistant Career for You?

There is a long list of attributes we could rattle off: caring, dependable, loving, organized, trustworthy, unflappable… The reality is, you’re going to be working with people. All sorts of people who arrive after all sorts of experiences. Sometimes those people are hurting and really sad, so they need someone to be kind and hold their hands and hearts as they work their way back to health. Sometimes patients are upset and need someone to be firm and professional to take the lead. It would be up to you to assess each situation as it arises and react to it appropriately.

You can have all the best Medical Assistant career training in the world and know how to properly fill out insurance forms and protect from cross-contamination, but without adaptable people skills, it could be difficult to excel in your field. The most in-demand Medical Assistants – maybe you? – know that technical skills are very important, and also know that human skills are just as critical, if not more so.

Click here to talk to someone about how a Medical Assistant career could be a fit for you.