By now, you probably have spent at least some time pondering what step you want to take next toward a rewarding career.
Have you considered becoming a medical assistant?
If so, make sure you understand the pros and cons of this occupation.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Being a Medical Assistant
- 1.1 Task Variety Prevents Boredom
- 1.2 Training Period Shorter Than For Doctor or Nurse
- 1.3 Specialized Career Opportunities
- 1.4 Always a Need
- 1.5 Professional, Sanitary Work Environment
- 1.6 Personal Fulfillment
- 1.7 Stable Income
- 1.8 Not Confined to One Location
- 1.9 Satisfies Aspirations of Work in Medical Environment
- 1.10 You Have People Around You
- 2 Cons of Being a Medical Assistant
- 2.1 Strict Educational Requirements
- 2.2 Tough to Complete Courses Online
- 2.3 Sometimes Stressful
- 2.4 Always Near Infectious Agents (Pathogens)
- 2.5 Expensive Training For the ROI
- 2.6 Exposure to Contaminated Needles
- 2.7 Malpractice Risks
- 2.8 Possible Depression From Death Cases
- 2.9 Potential Burnout
- 2.10 Easier Ways to Earn Same Salary
- 3 More Examples of Careers That Require Less Schooling
- 4 Should You Become A Medical Assistant?
- 5 Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Assistant – Summary Table
Pros of Being a Medical Assistant
Task Variety Prevents Boredom
You will not have much time to experience long bouts of boredom when employed as a medical assistant.
Every day you will be responsible for a multitude of both administrative and medical tasks.
For instance, you will talk to new patients and record new information in their medical files.
You will also prepare their blood samples for delivery to the lab and monitor their vital signs.
Training Period Shorter Than For Doctor or Nurse
If you want to become a medical assistant, you only need to earn a certificate or associate degree.
This usually only takes one or two years of schooling as opposed to four or eight years to become a nurse or doctor.
Specialized Career Opportunities
For instance, you could earn your associate degree and take pharmacology classes.
Other options include seeking training that would enable you to work with cardiovascular patients or children.
Your medical assistant certification will pave the way for you to work in other medical roles, including someday as a nurse or doctor.
If you are not sure how becoming a medical assistant could help you reach your career goals, talk to an academic advisor.
Admissions counselors at local colleges also can assist you.
Always a Need
Because of the increased number of aging people alive today, the need for medical services has multiplied.
What is more, they will need preventative care, which calls for medical assistance that doctors or nurses may not have time to provide.
That is what your role would be as a medical assistant.
You can expect an 18 percent job growth in this field within the next 10 years.
Professional, Sanitary Work Environment
Although you frequently deal with hectic situations, you also will experience a serene, sanitary atmosphere when working as a medical assistant.
It is much cleaner than working in, for example, a manufacturing plant or out in the dirt landscaping.
You will have the chance to motivate patients and help them reach their health goals or just be there to brighten their day.
This alone can help you find job satisfaction as you work toward your career objectives.
You will not probably have to ever worry much about finding a job because of openings in other places besides hospitals.
For instance, you could assist a school nurse or staff that cares for elderly patients in assisted living facilities.
With all the different positions open, you have plenty of chances to earn a decent living wage, which totals about $35,850 per year.
Not Confined to One Location
You can work just about anywhere that has a doctor’s office, hospital, nursing home, school, or retirement community, for instance.
Knowing this could make you more secure about your financial future.
Satisfies Aspirations of Work in Medical Environment
Maybe you do not feel like you want to become a doctor or nurse.
You also might not want to spend multiple years in school to become a surgeon.
If not, becoming a medical assistant could still satisfy your career aspirations.
This does not limit you, necessarily, to just this one position for the rest of your life.
However, you may not have ever realized that medical facilities consist of more than the doctors and nurses on duty.
You Have People Around You
Most people after about age 40 have smaller but more meaningful social circles.
Usually, the people they gather with work with them.
If you do not leave the house much but feel like you need human interaction, become a medical assistant.
It will not replace having a personal life, but it could help.
If you do not like people, much, however, you might want to choose a different profession.
Besides, working as a medical assistant, unfortunately, does have its disadvantages, too.
Cons of Being a Medical Assistant
Strict Educational Requirements
You will not make as much money as doctors or nurses, but you must adhere to equally as strict educational standards.
For instance, you cannot just audit courses and expect to legally work as a medical assistant.
Make sure you understand all the requirements before enrolling in a training program or searching for a job.
Tough to Complete Courses Online
It is almost impossible to succeed as a medical assistant without any in-person training.
Of course, using virtual or augmented reality software would help, but you still need to perform “real” sessions “live” with real people.
You cannot do all this in the Metaverse.
If you want to just work at home, do not become a medical assistant.
You probably will not find taking temperatures, blood pressures, or filing paperwork that difficult.
However, multiply the tasks required to admit or discharge a patient and administer treatment by at least dozens per day.
You must move and think fast without making dangerous or costly mistakes.
You might feel like you are under pressure sometimes.
Always Near Infectious Agents (Pathogens)
Working around sick people can make you paranoid, for one.
However, not all your fears are unfounded.
You will end up exposing yourself to pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, or yeast infections.
Expensive Training For the ROI
ROI stands for “return on investment.”
No matter what career you pursue, it is best to consider how much the education, licensing, and job search will cost you.
Medical assistants do not yield much income for schooling they must complete.
You have to attend school for at least a year or two to only make a few thousand dollars more than a CNA.
A CNA certificate only requires up to 12 weeks of school.
Exposure to Contaminated Needles
All it takes is one accidental prick of a needle into your body to end up with an acute or chronic illness.
It is rare that it happens, but you must know that it could occur.
Not working as a doctor or nurse does not exempt you from malpractice risks.
For instance, you could accidentally switch blood samples or misfile important patient records.
Beware of the potential problems you could encounter throughout your day.
Possible Depression From Death Cases
Working in the medical profession of any kind is not for the faint-hearted – literally.
Can you handle spending all day in the process of suffering people who may die any day now?
Make sure you can before you decide to work in a medical facility.
You could end up working long hours while taking on duties normally meant for nurses or doctors.
Make sure you set boundaries with your superiors if you do want to become a medical assistant.
Easier Ways to Earn Same Salary
Depending on your career goals, you might benefit more from becoming a CNA instead of a medical assistant even if you earn less (around $30,000 to start instead of $35,000 per year).
After all, you can receive your certificate to practice in only a matter of weeks instead of months as a CNA.
You also can find other types of office assistant jobs where you could make at least $20,000-$30,000 per year without so much as a high school diploma.
Even some people employed as customer service representatives or receptionists could make almost as much as a medical assistant.
For office positions, you may only need to take a few classes and will not have to accumulate the hundreds or thousands of dollars of debts that might accrue when training to become a medical assistant.
If you already work full-time in an office setting, you may want to ask your employer about possible funding for continued education, too.
That also could cut down on the cost of schooling instead of paying all that money to become a medical assistant.
More Examples of Careers That Require Less Schooling
You could become a food delivery driver with only a high school education and a “good” driving record.
Working only about 40-45 hours per week, you can make a yearly gross salary of about $35,000 per year.
Many trade positions also start out about this much as well.
If you take one or two years of schooling to become a plumber, electrician, or construction worker, you could make probably $40,000-$60,000 per year.
Of course, other professions have their advantages and disadvantages as well.
Should You Become A Medical Assistant?
You might find training for employment as a medical assistant worth it the most if you intend to use the experience for future career advancement.
However, you can choose this as a standalone career if you are content with the pay rate and lifestyle it can provide for you.
Either way, make sure you have enough passion for all things medically related.
Otherwise, you might not justify the commitment and expenses associated with this career choice.
Pros and Cons of Being a Medical Assistant – Summary Table
|Pros of Being a Medical Assistant||Cons of Being a Medical Assistant|
|Task Variety Prevents Boredom||Strict Educational Requirements|
|Training Period Shorter Than for Doctor or Nurse||Tough to Complete Courses Online|
|Specialized Career Opportunities||Sometimes Stressful|
|Always a Need||Always Near Infectious Agents (Pathogens)|
|Professional, Sanitary Work Environment||Expensive Training For the ROI|
|Personal Fulfillment||Exposure to Contaminated Needles|
|Stable Income||Malpractice Risks|
|Not Confined to One Location||Possible Depression From Death Cases|
|Satisfies Aspirations of Work in Medical Environment||Potential Burnout|
|You Will Have People Around You||Easier Ways to Earn Same Salary|