Not All Medical Assistants Work in Hospitals

Posted On February 22,2021

In addition to job security and good pay, the healthcare field offers a wide variety of choices when it comes to workplace settings. If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant (MA) but have concerns that a healthcare career means you’ll be working in a hospital, rest assured there are plenty of alternative opportunities to explore.

Smiling medical assistant helping a long term care resident.

Outpatient Care Centers

Outpatient care centers differ from hospitals as they’re medical centers that provide services and procedures that don’t require an overnight stay. These offices offer a variety of services, from performing minor surgery to running lab tests. MA’s working in these types of centers may take patient vital signs, assist with x-rays and complete administrative duties. While outpatient care centers can get busy, they are less hectic than a hospital because the patients receiving care aren’t usually there for life threatening conditions. Shifts at outpatient care centers may range from standard business hours, to possible evenings and weekends.

Diagnostic Laboratories

For MA’s who prefer less direct patient contact, working in a diagnostic laboratory is a possibility. Diagnostic laboratories receive specimen samples from hospitals and clinics, and the medical assistant’s job there may vary from running tests on the samples, to recording records and handling the input of data. Working in a laboratory usually requires a heavy amount of administrative work.

Assisted Living Facilities

Also referred to as nursing homes, assisted living facilities present medical assistants with clinical and administrative duties. They help the facility run smoothly by scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records and filing insurance claims, among other things. Medical assistants may also be responsible for performing clinical tasks, such as preparing a patient for an exam or monitoring vital signs to ensure the residents are receiving the care they need. Since residents need around the clock care, hours may vary which is perfect for someone looking for a flexible schedule. Plus, working with the elderly can be a highly rewarding job, as many medical assistants develop close bonds with the residents.

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Home Care

The demand for in-home health services has surged lately, leaving a great need for qualified healthcare workers to provide care in patients’ homes. Medical assistants perform similar clinical duties they would perform in a clinic, such as monitoring vital signs, and assisting patients with daily living activities who are limited in mobility. In-home care is a great option for someone interested in becoming a medical assistant, but hoping to avoid working in a hospital.

Advance Your Training and Explore Additional Career Paths

One of the many benefits of becoming a medical assistant is the knowledge and experience you gain working as an MA. This experience can help you transition into numerous other healthcare related careers, especially with some additional training. After gaining experience as an MA, many decide to continue their training to specialize in one particular area of healthcare, while some return to school to become a nurse. For some MA’s, they prefer to advance their training to work in the administrative field of healthcare by becoming office managers or billing and coding specialists.

Where Will a Career in Medical Assisting Take You?

Medical assistants will have the ability to make a smooth transition into other workplace settings, which is perfect for those who aren’t crazy about the idea of working in a standard clinical environment, such as a hospital.

If you enjoy a variety of experiences, you can feel confident that becoming a medical assistant will provide you with plenty of choices. Contact Athena Career Academy today to discover where a rewarding career in medical assistant can take you.

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