Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Feel Like I Wasted my Time

Most Medical Assistant Program Graduates Get Frustrated When They Do Not Find a Job Right Away...

One frustrated Medical Assistant student let off some steam and posted on our Medical Assistant Web Forum that she is tired of seeing medical assistants being hired right off the street, while she cannot land a job anywhere with her training. She says: "I feel like I wasted my time... how 'bout you?"

------------------ The Project:
With my curiosity sparked, I did go ahead and spent a good amount of time on looking into whether "MAs are getting hired right off the street". Since I found the statement a little bit off, I REALLY wanted to know whether that was indeed so. I know that if I WERE A DOCTOR, I would not want to jeopardize my reputation, and licence, nor quality of services by hiring someone off the street to take care of my patients (and business).

All right, I admit, that a little under three hours of research will NOT EVEN CLOSELY speak for every doctor in the entire United States, however, based on what I have seen I dare to refute the assertion that properly educated and trained medical assistants have a huge disadvantage over their untrained counter parts walking the streets.

My simple research focused on the following three main areas:

1.) Job offers on the Internet (Monster & CareerBuilder)
2.) Job offers in the local newspaper (Last week Saturday & Sunday, and Wednesday)
3.) And a quick trip to FutureWorks Career Center

------------------ The Result:

I have seen thousands of Medical Assistant job offers in all disciplines posted for places in every state.

Rarely did they NOT ask for at least the medical assistant diploma, and experience, but most were looking for certified medical assistant.

One ad that remotely can be understood as mildly indicating that there is a chance to get the job without specific qualification, but offering a chance to may be work your way up eventually as a medical assistant was worded as follows:

Front Desk Staff Person
Company: Ozog Eye Care
Description: Front Desk Staff Person

Front desk person needed for fast paced Ophthalmic practice. Must be dependable, detail oriented, able to multi-task and organized. Patience and compassion in a patient setting required. Answering of multi-phone lines, scheduling, chart preparation, knowledge and entry of patient insurance billing information. F/T, M-F, Benefits available. Salary DOE. Mail resume to:1417 9th St South #100Great Falls, MT 59405Source - Great Falls Tribune - Great Falls, MT

------------------ My Comments:
I was very pleased to find that MANY of the advertised jobs NOW OFFER benefit and bonus packages to the medical assistants! Although the hourly wages still range close to what they were 5-7 years ago, benefits and bonuses were HARDLY EVER offered to medical assistants back then.

So, I was really glad to see what I hope is the beginning of a new trend and employer's realization of the value of their medical assistant staff. If a medical assistant can earn $12 PLUS benefits, that's a big step up.

All in all, I did not find any evidence that recruiters, and employers seek to hire medical assistants off the street to train them themselves. As a matter of fact, I believe the trend is indeed the exact opposite.

The U.S. Department of Labor has predicted year after year and continues to do so:
Employment in health care will continue to grow for several reasons. The number of people in older age groups, with much greater than average health care needs, will grow faster than the total population between 2004 and 2014; as a result, the demand for health care will increase.As the largest industry in 2004, health care provided 13.5 million jobs—13.1 million jobs for wage and salary workers and about 411,000 jobs for the self-employed.

8 out of 20 occupations projected to grow the fastest are in health care.

More new wage and salary jobs—about 19 percent, or 3.6 million—created between 2004 and 2014 will be in health care than in any other industry.

------------------ Sources & References:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics
Medical Assistant/Healthcare Jobs
Medical Assistant/Healthcare Jobs

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