The medical field offers more workplace variety than most other professions. In addition to great job security and steady hours, aspiring medical assistants can also look forward choosing their work environment from a wide assortment of options. Whether you think the fast-paced, dynamic situation of a hospital, or the close and personal setting of a private practice sounds appealing, your options are endless as a medical assistant.
Hospitals present medical assistants with a large diversity of cases and patient care options due to all of the different departments and units that exist inside of a hospital. Because of this, medical assistants usually choose to start their careers in a hospital to gain exposure to a variety of specialties. Medical assistants will typically deal with the sickest of patients in a hospital, and will often have to care for them overnight since hospitals are inpatient facilities. Working in the outpatient section of the hospital, or the Emergency Department (ED), medical assistants will gain experience assisting with different, life-threatening situations and near-death patients that they would most likely not see in other settings.
Just as with hospitals, there are endless specialties to choose from when choosing which private practice to work for. Pediatrics, cardiology and gynecology are just a few examples of these specialties. However, unlike working in a large hospital, medical assistants working in a privately owned practice will see the same patients on a regular basis, thus developing relationships with them. Since private practices tend to specialize in one area of medicine, you will become an expert in that field.
Working in a clinic offers many of the same opportunities as a private practice, except clinics are typically larger and not privately owned by the doctors. Even though clinics such as Urgent Care facilities and general health centers are outpatient departments like private practices, they do not treat the same patients on a regular basis. Clinics are treated as a temporary solution if a patient does not have a regular physician, or if they need immediate, yet non-emergency care.
Also known as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, like other workplace settings, present medical assistants with clinical or administrative duties. They help guarantee smooth operations by scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records and filing insurance claims, just to name a few. Medical assistants also develop close bonds with their patients and perform many basic, clinical tasks to ensure they receive all the care they need. Executing clinical duties such as prepping for an exam or monitoring heart rate for the sick and elderly can be quite taxing on some healthcare personnel and requires a sympathetic, patient mindset.
Retirement communities are similar to nursing homes in many ways, except instead of looking and operating like a hospital, they look like an apartment complex. The patients are also typically in much better health and do not require around the clock medical attention. Since the senior residents are able to care for themselves most of the time and only need healthcare personnel around for minor situations, retirement communities have a high demand for medical assistants. Regular physicians and registered nurses aren’t needed for the slight accidents that usually occur in retirement communities.
To learn about other workplace options for medical assistants, visit our website at: www.woodruffmedical.edu/programs/medical-assistant/.