Healthcare Careers Alternative to Medical Assisting
Fast-paced, intensive, demanding, and rewarding are probably the top adjectives medical professionals would use to describe their jobs. Many medical professionals today begin their careers in entry-level positions such as the medical assistant role, and then move up to more advanced career positions. An entire career as a medical assistant is hard, worthwhile work alone. But many professionals in the healthcare industry find that they want more challenging work once they get used to the medical environment.
EBI’s Medical Assisting program prepares students for entry-level employment, but also gives students the skills to further their healthcare careers. To give insight into what kinds of positions could be available to you beyond medical assisting, here are some of the most in-demand, advanced healthcare jobs for those who set high goals.
Medical and Health Services Manager
These skilled professionals are the backbone of any healthcare facility. Think of them as medical assistants on a larger scale. They plan, direct, and coordinate all health and patient services. Oftentimes they are in charge of an entire facility, such as a hospital, or they can oversee a single medical practice, group of physicians, or individual departments of a healthcare facility such as the cardiac or pediatric departments.
Employers usually require medical and health service managers to hold a bachelor’s degree, but keep in mind that trained medical assistants will have a great head-start on the duties and responsibilities of this advanced role. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health service managers are projected to grow 17 percent over the next ten years. These professionals earn around $94,500 salaries.
Medical assistants frequently work with therapists in healthcare facilities much in the same way they work with doctors and nurses. There are two general types of therapists in most healthcare facilities: physical therapists and occupational therapists.
Both kinds of therapists work directly with patients, with the difference being that physical therapists typically work with patients in pain from illnesses or accidents to help them recover shortly after their illness or accident happened. Occupational therapists work with patients with similar conditions, but with the goal of helping them adjust to their conditions in the long-term. Both occupations generally require a medical degree or doctorate, but again medical assistants will have a leg up after a short time on the job.
Alternatively, physical and occupational therapist aides are a great career move from the medical assistant position. Therapist aides positions typically do not require a lot of medical education, and only a relatively small amount of on-the-job training. Most medical assistants will find the therapist aide position to fit their skillset and goals very nicely. Occupational and physical therapists earn around $80,000 to $85,000 yearly salaries, while therapist aides earn anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000 salaries.
Nurses have very difficult jobs, but also among the most rewarding. There are many different kinds of nurses, but the most common are registered nurses, intensive care nurses, and pediatric nurses. The only downside of moving to a nursing positon from a medical assisting position is that a lot more education is required. Nursing school is long and very intensive, not to mention expensive. Other options in nursing that could be an easier transition from the medical assistant position are:
- Certified Nursing Assistant – provide basic care to patients in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. These professionals tend to patients on a daily basis, performing hygienic, transportation, and other basic duties. They do not administer medicine and other like duties that nurses and doctors take care of. CNAs usually only need to pass state licensing exams for employment.
- Licensed Practical Nurse – These professionals also provide basic patient care, but they work directly under supervision of registered nurses and doctors. They often administer medicine treatments and can work in a wide array of healthcare and private medical facilities. Practical nurses usually need to pass state-mandated exams as well as an education program about one year in length for employment.
- Residential/Vocational Nurse – residential nurses are like practical nurses that work in long-term care facilities, in patients’ homes, or private practices caring for geriatric patients. They have the same basic patient treatment duties as practical nurses and nursing assistants. Residential/vocational nurses must pass a state exam and undergo a medical program about one year in length.
These three specific fields are only some of the more common positions that medical assistants can advance to through hard work and promotion. The full spectrum of possibilities for medical assistants is practically endless in healthcare. Regardless of where you want to end in the healthcare field, medical assisting can play an important role in getting you there. Medical assistants get first-hand experience in a range of healthcare operations, departments, and facilities. Whether it’s your first step or your lifelong passion, EBI can help you prepare for a future in medical assisting