Friday, April 13, 2007

The Salary Question....

A much discussed topic among new medical assistants is their salary. Low medical assistant pay, and whether the medical assisting profession should be more regulated by the state to increase standards, and wages is a much debated topic in our active Medical Assistant Web Forum.

Many are so discouraged, they are torn. It is obvious that they find the medical assisting career attractive, and they'd love to work in the medical office under the direct supervision of a licenced health care provider, but on the other hand, they are thinking about going into the nursing field for the money instead.

I wish I had all the answers for those who are frustrated, undecided, under the crunch, or in a slump. Because a career path is such an individual choice, and without going into the pros and cons of personal reasons for becoming a medical assistant, or LPN, I can share the following food for thought.

Here are some of my own awareness and decision making exercises in hopes that they serve as a guide, or inspiration. Whenever I have to make career choice, or arrived at a cross to advance in a certain direction, these are some of the things I always ask myself about myself, and my work situation first. Knowing the answers helps me to remain competitive and on the right track, which includes getting what I want (not just give what others want) out of my career, and the right salary.

An employee may not have the final say-so over their salary, but they have the power to create a true win-win situation, if they know the following about their job and themselves.... But never forget, first and foremost the old saying: "Know thyself first!".

1. What is a successful person?
2. What does my career mean to me?
3. How do I do my best every day?
4. How can I improve?
5. How do I build rapport with my employer
6. What is "give value first"?
7. What is the best way to add value?
8. How do I find a mentor?
9. What causes my fear of failure?
10. What should I do with my spare time?
11. How can I invest my time, not spend it?
12. What is the best way to impress my boss?
13. How am I helping to build the business?
14. What do I have to do to get ahead?
15. How do I show my value and create awareness of it?
16. What value do I bring beyond my job description?
17. How do I show that I am loyal?
18. How approachable and cooperative am I?
19. What am I "known" for?
20. What am I recognized as being the best for?
21. What do others in the industry say about me?
22. What is the best time and way to ask for a raise?
23. What is the best way to approach my boss?
24. How can I make my request stand out?
25. What is the best way to follow up?

(Drum-roll) And here the final "AHA"!

26. How much do I love what I do here?
27. What does it take to keep me here?
28. Do I need to look for a job elsewhere?

Opportunities abound in the medical assisting field. The key to success is knowing yourself first, knowing your job, knowing your boss, and knowing the job market. If your boss realizes your value to the success of the practice and patients... chances are s/he will reason with you, and reward you to keep you.

If not, too bad! Know what you want, and what you have to offer, let your boss know what you have to offer, and what you want, and just in case the relationship doesn't work out... always have your resume up-to-date and ready to go.

To learn more about educational requirements, and practical tips for handling emergencies, and proper documentation visit Medical Assistant Net on the Web. There is lots of additional "scope of practice for medical assistants" info at that web site.


Anonymous said...

Why is it No One seems to ever have anything good to say about the MA Career? It is Awesome maybe you all just go into the wrong Career?

Danni R. said...

The good stuff is here! Only positive and interesting things for medical assistants:

Medical Assistant of America

Anonymous said...

I am a 31 yr old african american female and work as a Certified Medical Assistant in Ohio I have had several jobs and most paying over $11.00 and hour I have finally found my nitch and work for a fortune 500 company making $14.00 hour which is not shabby for a medica assistant i am gald I made the decision to become one because without my education where would I be in this recession without the knowledge of a medical professional.....