Becoming a medical assistant could open many doors to a long and satisfying career. Sure, there are people who are comfortable sticking to a long-term medical assistant role but there are those who want to advance their career. For those individuals who are opting to climb up the career ladder, it is wise to consider the options. What’s next after becoming a medical assistant? What will be your roles? What qualifications will you require? The key advantage of a medical assistant profession is that you can easily advance with more experience, specialized training, and supervision. If you’re considering advancing your career after medical assistant, you ought to consider the following positions.
Since nursing and medical assistant professions are careers that are closely related, most medical assistants eventually make the transition into nursing. Due to the medical assistant coursework, it is easier to become a nurse when you’re an experienced medical assistant. Both medical assistant and nurse are required to work closely with a physician. However, nursing programs put more focus on assessment and decision making. Hence, if you want to become a registered nurse, most states will require you to enroll in a short-term nursing program. Most nursing programs that admit candidates based on points criteria usually award more points to those with prior healthcare experience. That means if you’re an experienced medical assistant, you will have a better chance of getting a placement. Additionally, medical assistants who trained at the Associate’s level can transfer their credits to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The only downside is that nursing programs have stricter math and science and math cut off points. However, don’t let that discourage you, just ask for a transcript review and weigh out your options.
Allied Health Management
Experienced medical assistants can opt to enroll for an allied health management program to improve their oversight skills and get an opportunity to advance their career as an allied health manager in the future. In this essence, the program is an additional education that focuses on healthcare administration. For those with an Associate degree, it will be a great boost when seeking that position. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, your chances of missing out a spot will be very minimal. The primary role of an allied health manager is to supervise health car from a business perspective. Usually, medical assistants who transition to an allied health management role start at an entry position before progressing to a supervisory role. Once you have gained enough experienced or attained the right credentials, you will be required to be certified to be fully acknowledged. After getting certified, you can either work at a hospital or a physician office. Since allied health management covers a wide scope, it is important to seek a license for the specific work you want to do. For instance, if you want to become a nursing home administrator, you will need to apply for a license that allows you to operate in that capacity. If you’re not sure about it, just ask your employer to guide you on which credentials will be necessary. Once you become a healthcare manager, you can work in hospitals, clinics, healthcare consulting firms, rehabilitation centers, insurance companies, public health departments, physician’s office, and residential health care facilities.
Medical assistants who are trained in coding and billing can advance their careers by specializing solely in medical coding. However, if you want to pursue medical coding, you will have to go through a thorough assessment. For the exam, you should be familiar with ICD-9-CM and CPT codes. If you fail the first take, you’re allowed a single free retake. Once you pass the exam, you attain novice status until your trial period is over. The trial period usually involves checking up on your coding experience and education. It is crucial to note that even though coding is expanding exponentially, it is challenging to get an entry-level position without adequate experience. Hence, most employers will offer you an internship opportunity before enrolling you in a permanent job. Once successful, your job will be similar to translation. Medical coding experts convert medical reports written by doctors such as the diagnosis, patient’s condition, prescriptions, and medical procedures into codes. The coding sequence is then used to make claims for insurance payments. If you want a higher salary, medical coding could just be the right career advancement you should aim for as a medical assistant.
Just because you trained to become a medical assistant, doesn’t mean you will be a medical assistant all your life. The more experience and education you attain, the more opportunities will come knocking at your door. Additionally, you can choose to specialize to advance your entry-level medical assistant job to a more satisfying medical career position. For instance, as a clinical medical assistant, you can specialize in ophthalmology, podiatry, cardiology, pediatrics and emergency medicine. A lot of career advancement opportunities at your fingertips!