14 Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Assistant

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Medical assistants play a crucial role in the daily lives of patients and medical providers.

About 483,000 people work as medical assistants.

Depending on where you have a job, there are various pros and cons.

The growth in this field is positioned to increase by up to 23%, so there will be plenty of opportunities for people to work as medical assistants.

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Pros of Being a Medical Assistant

Short training period

Short Training Period

One of the most exciting things about studying to be a medical assistant is the relatively short period it takes between studying and landing your first job.

In nine months, someone could receive training and be certified.

Typical vocational training programs last between nine months and two years.

Also, while education is preferred, there is no formal certificate or training required to get a job.

You may be able to get training on the job as a medical assistant.

However, it certainly helps when seeking a position to already have had training and a certificate.

Many Career Prospects

Seeing as the demand for medical assistants is high, you could easily find yourself making double the minimum wage.

Salaries will increase with experience.

Additionally, this field is growing more than any other field.

This can spell out more competitive wages.

Also, you could have increased job security, as your employer would value your contributions and not want to lose out on any competitors.

Finally, you can work in a number of different settings.

This can look like medical offices, chiropractors, medical billing and coding, retirement communities, and more.

Variety of Job Duties

You will be active and do many different tasks as a medical assistant!

Each new day can have new people and things to do.

For an exciting atmosphere that keeps you on your toes, being a medical assistant is a great option.

Many people love the variety and the excitement of being a medical assistant.

You can explore different tasks and learn more about the medical field as you’re doing them.

It’s an excellent learning opportunity and also gives your job enough of a challenging aspect to keep it interesting.

Especially if you are an active person, being a medical assistant can be worthwhile and helps you avoid all of the perils of a sedentary working lifestyle.

Job Satisfaction

Being able to be in contact with patients and medical faculty can be incredibly rewarding.

Medical assistants love being able to help people and have the ability to positively influence their lives and care for them.

People who work as medical assistants are normally very caring and nurturing people, and this position allows them to explore their skills and make the best use of their gifts.

Working as a medical assistant means you get hands-on experience helping others when they need you the most.

You also will be able to network and make new friends with your coworkers in your medical office.

Career Advancement Opportunities

If you are dedicated and committed, working as a medical assistant can be a step in the right direction toward achieving all of your career goals.

Starting as a medical assistant, you can get valuable work experience and the references you need to move up the career ladder.

You could continue schooling, and even find yourself eventually working as a nurse, surgical director, nurse practitioner, or another highly ranked position if you set your mind to it!

Benefits

To attract and keep the best medical assistant talent, many workplaces offer perks and benefits that make the job worthwhile.

This can look like health insurance, paid time off, retirement plans, and even tuition reimbursement.

Also, employers could provide additional recognition like catered lunches or holiday bonuses that make working there a pleasant experience and a good investment in your future.

Learn New Skills

While training programs will adequately prepare you, you will undoubtedly learn new skills when working.

You will learn from your coworkers as well as the doctors or nurses training you.

These new skills will help you in your future work endeavors.

Cons of Being a Medical Assistant

Long Working Hours

Long Working Hours

Medical assistants can regularly be on their feet between 8 to 12 hours, depending on the length of the shift.

Also, medical needs will always be there.

This means that you could be expected to work weekends or holidays.

These long hours can be exhausting, especially if you are on your feet the entire time.

You may also be asked to work extra hours, overtime, or be on call.

Some feel like they are always working and this can be stressful for them.

Stress

Medical professionals are notoriously stressed out.

All of the constant work involved in being a medical professional means it may be hard to be “off” and have a work-life balance.

Also, there is a tremendous amount of responsibility involved in providing medical care.

Working with sick people and their problems can sometimes also be extremely emotional.

Lack of Autonomy

There are a lot of rules to follow as a medical assistant, and some people find having someone to report to and listen to can be very stressful.

All medical assistants report directly to someone higher up than them.

Even if medical assistant thinks they know better or have something to contribute, they are not allowed to work independently and have very strict rules and procedures they need to follow.

Doctors or nurses may be extremely demanding or not understanding, and a medical assistant will find that they are low on the totem pole, so to speak.

However, finding a good mentor would be a help, and it’s a career to help move up.

Low Salary

While the average hourly rate is more than $17 an hour, there are other jobs in the medical field that pay more and can be more lucrative.

For example, physician assistants make more than $78,000 on average.

Factors like experience and geographical location play a role in how much they are paid.

The low pay combined with all of the work that is involved might be a reason people choose other fields of study for longer to be a nurse if their circumstances allow it.

A low salary combined with a lot of responsibilities causes many medical assistants to resent their position.

However, those who see it as an opportunity to get a better-paying job in the future could use benefits like retirement and tuition reimbursement to set themselves up for a better outlook in the future.

Working With Needles

A big part of being a medical assistant is working with people’s blood.

If you are needle adverse or grossed out by bodily fluids, you will not enjoy this career.

Some people may view this part of being a medical assistant as being especially hazardous.

Sometimes, people will overreact or even faint as a result of having their blood drawn.

They may even be hostile to the medical assistant or make their job more difficult due to their fear of having their blood drawn.

Also, sometimes drawing blood is difficult, or finding a vein to insert an IV in could be hard to do.

Death of Patients

A patient who dies can be very upsetting to someone who works as a medical assistant.

It’s an inevitable part of working in the medical field and not a highlight of working in this profession.

Dealing with grieving families can also be problematic for especially sensitive people.

Also, the feelings of being powerless to help the patient who is dying may be troubling.

Medical assistants will sometimes develop a bond with the people they work with and genuinely care about them.

This is why when they pass they can be upset and it can have lingering effects.

Every medical professional has dealt with the death of their patients in some capacity, and it’s a natural part of the job.

However, some people may find they get very upset and over time it may weigh them down.

Biohazards

Being around potential pathogens or biohazards makes working as a medical assistant sometimes problematic.

For people with weakened immune systems, they may be afraid of catching the disease.

Also, they are routinely exposed to bodily fluids.

The field of being a medical assistant is creating new jobs every day, and as the population changes, it will continue to be an in-demand field.

There are many opportunities for growth and change someone can experience while working as a medical assistant.

If you are interested in a fast way to enter the medical profession, it would be a great way to gain experience, make connections, and start earning money working in the healthcare field!

Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Assistant Summary Table

Pros of Being a Medical AssistantCons of Being a Medical Assistant
Short Training PeriodLong Working Hours
Many Career ProspectsStress
Variety of Job DutiesLack of Autonomy
Job SatisfactionLow Salary
Career Advancement OpportunitiesWorking With Needles
BenefitsDeath of Patients
Learn New SkillsBiohazards

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