Are you looking to get into the healthcare field for your career, but don’t want to go through the years of school and training to be a doctor or a nurse? If so, a medical administrative assistant career might be the best choice for you. The healthcare industry offers a broad range of career options and plenty of room for advancement. All you need to do is take the necessary steps to get your foot in the door with your first job. Here is a quick guide to show you how to become a medical administrative assistant.
What Does a Medical Administrative Assistant Do?
A medical administrative assistant works in a healthcare facility and handles all of the administrative tasks needed to run it. This can mean organizing client records, handling finances, ordering tests, or submitting insurance forms, for example. There are any number of tasks that might be assigned to a medical administrative assistant, but in general they do what needs to be done for the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility.
To do this job, you must be organized, patient, independant, and able to pay attention to details. Mistakes could lead to problems with a patient’s care, the finances of the clinic, or issues with getting test results. Often there is a lot of contact with patients, so you need to be caring and compassionate, and provide good customer service. If this sounds like a job you can do, then here’s how to get there.
Get a High School Diploma
If you don’t already have one, you will certainly need to get a high school diploma to enter into any specific postsecondary programs. If you are still in high school, keep following your path. If you are currently working, and an adult, then you will have to pursue adult education to finish your diploma. The best courses to take to give yourself a good base are math, science, biology, and accounting. These will give you some general knowledge that will help you go further with your studies.
Take a Medical Administrative Assistant Program
To become a medical administrative assistant, you will need to take and pass a college level program. Luckily for you, it’s never been easier to further your education. You can take your courses online or through distance education if you wish. That way you can do things on your own schedule and your own time. There’s no need to attend years at school to achieve what you want. You can get your diploma in a year if you’d like, and start working as a medical office assistant soon after.
Obtain a Certification
It’s hard to search for jobs, even if you have the required educational and experiential background. While there is a lot of demand for medical administrative assistants, you may still want to give yourself an extra leg up on the competition. That way, you’ll be able to not just get a job, but you will be able to get the best possible job. Extra certification will show employers that not only do you have the basic knowledge to do the work, but you also have extra skills, as well as the initiative to develop them. You can take these certifications online as well, but you can only get them after completing a program or one year of experience in the field as a medical administrative assistant.
Work On Your People Skills
One thing about working in the healthcare field is that you will come across a lot of people. There are patients, nurses, doctors, caregivers, and any number of other people who will compete for your attention. If you are not used to providing customer service, then this can be difficult and overwhelming. However, you never want to be the reason someone posts on their social media account about a terrible clinic visit.
Always smile when you talk, and be patient with everyone. You never know when someone is feeling terrible or getting very bad news about their health. Your ability to come across as friendly and caring will go a long way towards making them feel comfortable and confident in their healthcare provider. Always remember, you will be working for a paycheck, but you will also be working to help people.
Pound the Pavement
After that, it’s time to start applying for jobs. You can search through internet job boards, or even go in-person to clinics and facilities near you. Remember, you already have the education and knowledge that you need, so be confident and friendly in all of your communications. Make sure that you have a prepared cover letter that is tailored to each place that you apply to. In no time, you will have found a rewarding career that you love in an industry that is constantly growing.