Finding a Medical Assisting Job With No Experience
It is not required at this time for MA to complete a medical assisting training course to work in the field. Although some employers prefer to hire those with experience, MA without experience can also find jobs within the industry.
An individual must obtain the necessary credentials, determined by the state, to be employed as a MA. Typically a high school diploma, or GED equivalent, is required to be considered for hire as a medical assistant. The successful completion of an accredited medical assisting program is helpful, but not required by most states. Some employers may require the MA possess a current CPR card. CPR courses are available through organizations such as the AHA (American Heart Association) or Red Cross. Some employers can require BLS, basic life support, certification as well. This type of course can be found locally by contacting schools that offer medical assisting, emergency medical technician or other allied health programs. They can also be found on-line.
Complete an Externship
To gain clinical experience, a non-experienced MA may choose to participate in a MA externship, or job-shadowing program. A MA externship gives individuals lacking work experience the opportunity to see what it is like to work as a MA. They follow experienced MA around the job site and learn about the skills needed to work as a successful medical assistant. An externship in medical assisting can be arranged by contacting local physician practices, clinics and hospitals to find out if their facility accommodates inexperienced individuals who would like to participate in an externship.
Entry Level Position
An individual who has the desire, but lacks the experience necessary by an employer, to work as a MA may choose to enter the company at an entry level position with an option for advancement. Some employers who insist their medical assistants have a specific amount of work experience will hire those lacking experience for entry-level positions. These positions include working in the front of the office, where mostly clerical duties are performed, or as an assistant to experienced MA in the back where patient care and treatment occurs. After working at the entry-level position for a certain amount of time determined by the employer, the employer may provide the employee with the opportunity to advance a medical assistant position. At this time, the employer may choose to send the employee to complete a MA training program or provide on-the-job training.
In areas where participating in a medical assisting externship is not an option, an individual lacking MA experience may choose to volunteer with a local physician’s practice, hospital or clinic that utilizes medical assistants. The individual can contact local health care facilities to see if they could volunteer in their establishment. Volunteers may not be permitted to perform actual patient care or assist physicians directly however, they will be allowed to observe and take notes on how things are done.