Alternative Career Options for Medical Assistants in 2020/2021

Alternative Career Options for Medical Assistants in 2020/2021

Check these career options for medical assistants

One of the most extraordinary things about working in the medical field is all of the opportunities. If you get bored, feel a particular field isn’t the right fit, or need to advance your career for additional income, there are countless opportunities. We’ve Outlined Alternative Career Options for Medical Assistants in 2020/2021

Physician’s Office

Many people believe that they need a Medical Assistant certification to work in a physician’s office, but that’s not the case. Nursing Assistants work at physician’s offices as Nursing Assistants with limited scopes. The main differentiator between Nursing and Medical Assistants is that Medical Assistants can draw blood and perform tests, where Nursing Assistants can’t. It can be harder to secure a job at a Physician’s office without your MA, but it’s not impossible.

The benefits of working in a physician’s office are that you have less stress when it comes to taking care of over ten patients at a time. The patient comes in; you take their vitals, get notes on why they are there for their visit.

Home Health Aide

Working as a Home Health Aid is also an option for a CNA or Medical Assistant. Much like Medical Assistants, Home Health Aides have their own course materials they study that are different from a Nurse Assistant, but they are similar. Home Health Aids commonly only focus on care relating to feeding, hygiene, and assisting with restroom visits or incontinence.

One of the benefits of working as a home health aid is that you are one on one with a patient, and you are typically working with the same patient for months to years at a time.

Assisted Living Facility

If you have your Medical Assitant Certification, Home Health Certification, or Nurse Assistant Certification, you can work at an assisted living facility. The daily scope of work involves helping patients get cleaned up and ready for the day, assisting them with their meals and restroom visits. Unlike working in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, there’s limited assistance with incontinence and bathing, and vitals are not taken. However, more patients are generally assigned since the scope of care is considered to be light.

One of the benefits of working in an assisted living facility is that the work is lighter in comparison to a skilled nursing facility or hospital. Most CNAs start out at Assisted Living Centers, work up to working at a Skilled Nursing Center, then apply to work in hospitals.

Skilled Nursing Facility

One of the harder jobs, in comparison, is working at a skilled nursing facility. Patients that are in skilled facilities tend to need the highest level of care, and the workload is known to be much higher than an assisted living facility. Your typical assignment involves 15 patients. Responsibilities include bathing, incontinence care, feeding, and more. The workload is heavy, and due to limited nursing staff, you are mostly on your own.

ER Technician

If you have your Medical Assitant Certification, you can secure a job as an ER technician. Many hospitals will also require additional training as a First Responder, EMT, or at minimum, telemetry training. More often than not, Medical Assistants are chosen for this role over CNA’s as they have obtained additional training, including blood draws and EKGs.

One of the perks of working as an ER technician is you generally have less patients than you would working on the floor, your patient ages range from infants to seniors, and you’re always kept on your toes. Vitals, EKS, blood draws, assisting with codes, and more keep the job interesting. Additionally, the pay tends to be 30% higher than the roles listed above.

Patient Care Technician

For those who don’t love working with seniors or don’t like the ER’s fast-paced environment, working on the floor of a hospital could be the best fit. The job role for Patient Care Technicians varies depending on the unit they are working on, but the role typically includes taking vitals, feeding, assisting with hygiene care, and more.

One of the benefits of working in a hospital is that there are more opportunities. You can change units, advance into additional roles (especially in larger facilities), and they generally have higher budgets for salaries in comparison.

Traveling Nurse Assistant’s

Less common, Traveling CNAs are an additional opportunity. Nurses are paid to travel to locations where locations are unable to fill roles, nurses are on strike, or an epidemic has happened.

If you love to travel, want to explore new locations, or are interested in trying different roles, working as a travel CNA could be the perfect opportunity for you. Additionally, they pay a premium for nurses to travel.

Are you currently working as a Medical Assistant? Are you working in one of the roles above? Let us know in the comments below what you love about your current position.


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About the author

Ashley Carty

Ashley Carty is a seasoned medical professional with over 8 years of experience working at the top hospitals in Southern California, including Hoag, Saddleback Memorial, and UCSD.

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