Medical Assisting Opens Many Doors – Unusual Workplaces for MAs
Health care is everywhere and as a Medical Assistant (MA) you can become part of a team in an area of care that interests you. Medical assisting is a career choice that gives you the things you need to have in a career you will love. Traditionally, most medical assistants have been women, but that is changing as men are turning to a career in medical assisting with greater frequency. Many men who were medical assistants in the military elect to continue their career as a civilian, as do women.
A Sampling of What Medical Assistants Do
- Love kids? Become a medical assistant at your local hospital’s pediatric floor or work in a pediatrician’s office. Maybe you like to help older people because they remind you of a beloved aunt or uncle or your grandparents – you can work in a gerontologist’s (a doctor who cares for older patients) or look for a job at a nursing home.
- Need a very flexible schedule due to family obligations? – join a home health company where you can have a schedule that meets your needs.
- Feeling patriotic? Join the Veteran’s Administration (VA)and help the men and women who served in the military. Whether you work on a hospital floor, an outpatient clinic or take a position in rehabilitative medicine, the VA has a place for you. Did you know that the VA is on the cutting edge of giving Vets new arms or legs? The VA is thought to be the most advanced health care system when it comes to prosthetics (new limbs) in the world.
- Do you love babies? Why not consider a job in a natural birthing center? This is a growing part of the healthcare system and birthing centers increased by 27% from 2010 to 2013. Their popularity is expected to continue as costs for delivering a baby are about half of what hospitals pay.
- The fact is, medical assisting can open doors in fields you might never think of. For example, if you are interested in space, you might look for employment with the United States space agency NASA. There you may work with people who wish to become astronauts and must clear a strenuous medical exam to qualify. You may even have a chance to work with astronauts returning to earth following a space mission.
Each of these career paths offers a fulfilling career, but do you know about Medical Assisting jobs that are less well-known? There are tons of unusual places for medical assistants to work. Following are some examples.
It’s no surprise that medical assistants are in high demand in nursing homes. But, retirement communities. These communities are home to older adults who are usually not infirm. Medical assistants working in a retirement community. Their job is to give injections, render first aid for accidents and aid in keeping community members healthy. In a retirement community, MAs may periodically take blood pressures and other vital signs, run classes about remaining healthy, and perform other activities to promote good health for community residents.
Patients of all ages choose to remain home when recovering from an illness or injury. In addition, many older Americans who need help with the activities of daily living and are limited in their mobility choose to remain in the home. Home care agencies see to it that these folks get the care they need.
Chiropractor offices are part of the alternative medicine or holistic medicine movement. Often, people overlook chiropractor offices for medical assisting since they sometimes don’t think of them as a medical practice, which they are indeed.
You might know about hyperbaric therapy (HBOT) from movies or TV. When a scuba diver comes to the surface too quickly they cause decompression sickness often referred to as the Bens. But, HBOT is also used to help heal wounds in diabetic patients and patients receiving radiation therapy.
Prisons are self-sufficient and have populations that approach the limits of a small city. Convicted criminals are entitled to good health care services and are in need of people to provide it. As a medical assistant, you can work in the prison infirmary and help care of prisoners doing regular medical assistant’s work.
Universities and Colleges
In many cases, university and colleges with medical schools often have their own hospitals. Medical assistants who work in such environments do the same work as MAs in hospitals not attached to an institution of higher learning. But, a career plus is the potential to be hired by the school as an instructor if they have a certificate program in medical assisting.
Medical Research Centers & Clinical Trials
Every new drug requires research before it is approved for sale in the US by the Food & Drug Administration. In a medical research center, you can have a career working with scientists and other researchers.
Clinical trials are for testing drugs on human volunteers for both safety and to learn how well the new medicine works.
At either kind of setting, medical assistants help by signing in clinical trial participants and conducting tests on them such as blood pressure, glucose, and others.
Centers for Natural Birth
Because of concerns about costs and reduction of invasive procedures, more women are choosing natural birth. At a center for natural birth, you help deliver babies and participate in the care of patients immediately after giving birth.
Some insurance companies use medical assistants to help with administrative work in processing claims. To work in an insurance company, medical assistants need a solid grounding in ICD-10 and other coding formats.
Gastroenterology is the name for the branch of medicine concerned with disease and disorders of the intestines and stomach. In order to properly diagnose ailments, gastroenterologists also called GI doctors, scope patients in their offices. Medical assistants often help the physician during the scoping procedures.
Diagnostic laboratories offer a few different types of jobs. For those who want patient contact, you can be a phlebotomist and take blood samples for analysis. Jobs with minimal patient contact also exist as medical assistants also process patient samples for analysis.
Becoming a medical assistant positions you to have a career that helps people in need. While clinics and medical offices are by far the largest employers of medical assistants, there are many other settings that need your skills.