Maintaining Versatility As a Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are educated and trained to work in virtually any area of the medical office. This versatility is a key reason they are so highly valued by employers. Yet, after beginning their careers, most medical assistants find jobs working in areas of preference. Over time, these medical assistants feel more and more reluctant to venture out of the area that has become their comfort zone. Sadly, this results in a loss of the very flexibility and versatility that initially made them so attractive to their employers. Medical assistants should remember that maintaining versatility not only enhances their value to their employers but also opens more doors of opportunity for future role enhancement and promotion. With this in mind, medical assistant students are encouraged to develop a career plan that will help them maintain and further develop their knowledge and skills in all areas. Such a plan might include these strategies:

• attending continuing education conferences and workshops that offer administrative and clinical content

• reading current professional literature on medical assisting and health care

• at least one day each month, volunteering to work in areas of the office other than where you usually work

• asking to be oriented or cross-trained to work in other areas of the clinic that are of interest to you

• volunteering to fill in for other members of the team when they are out of the office at lunch or away due to illness or vacation

• asking your manager about designing a job-swap experience with another medical assistant in the clinic who works in an area different from yours.