Thursday, December 20, 2007
Medical Assistants: "Where Is The Money?"
I have heard many stories from frustrated medical assistant program graduates not being able to find a job, and those who did, say their jobs are not paying well enough to consider staying in the field.
However, there ARE countless satisfied medical assistants that work side by side with LPN's and RN's in well respected positions, such as health clinics, medical offices, even schools, and public institutions on local and state level, such a correctional facilities, and from time to time, the City Health Department.
Not all medical assistants are doomed to labor in a small medical office at minimum pay without hope for a raise or progress. While an inexperienced medical assistant may not have much of a choice other than to start with just $20,000 in the first year, fully experienced medical assistants can earn as much as $40,000, or more in a year.
Medical assistants fresh out of school are not without hope! As awareness among employers about the medical assistant's qualifications grows, and the range of related healthcare positions increases they just need to know where to look and how to be better prepared.
City and government jobs are now being offered more frequently to medical assistants than ever before. These positions are an excellent avenue for advancement and better pay. For example, in 2007 a Director of Nursing in Philadelphia hired new certified medical assistants at $32,000 annual salary, plus a hefty benefit package of 12 sick days, 2 weeks vacation, 4 personal days, 11 paid holidays, and all weekends off!!!
Other advantages are weekend shifts, rarely seen in a doctor's office, but common in health clinics, where Saturdays pay time and 1/2, and Sundays are double-time pay. Often, these positions also come with annual uniform allowances, continuing education reimbursement, and periodic performance reviews coupled with a raise.
Nevertheless, those who haven't been so lucky to land one of these well paid jobs yet should not give up and neglect their skills. Maintaining your medical assistant certification and continuing your education, as well as keeping an up-to-date resume on file, just in case, is a sure way to keep the possibilities and doors open.
In the meantime, realize that another avenue is teaching! Teaching a medical assisting course, such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, or clinical skills at a local community college can be a good side job for extra income.
Just about every community college and local career training institutions hire medical assistants to teach the MA program to their students. Medical assistant instructors must be certified, have at least three years of experience in the field, and of course, be outgoing, and able to teach. They also need administrative and secretarial staff, as well as career guidance counselors and mentors.
Some use their talents tutoring medical assistant students over the Internet, while others illustrate medical books, write articles, and edit chapters for some of the largest textbook publishers.
So, if you asked me, and thousands other seasoned medical assistants, they will tell you that it sounds like a great career to be in.
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.