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How to Forward Your Career: Medical Assistant Edition

So, you’ve decided that you want to become a certified medical assistant but one question is making you hesitate- what can you do next? How can you advance your career after you have become a certified medical assistant? Lucky for you, there is a wide array of career options to pursue with the experience you will gain as a certified medical assistant.

Registered Nurse

Many medical assistants consider nursing due to the familiar environment. If you enjoy attending to and caring for patients, this would be a good career option for you. Tasks include looking after patients and following patient care instructions, along with reporting any changes in the status of the patient. A medical assistant can become a registered nurse by gaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing[Source 1] or by becoming a licensed practical nurse and then going on to become a registered nurse.

Phlebotomist

Phlebotomy is a natural career choice for medical assistants since there are many transferable skills. Similar to the clinical duties of a medical assistant, phlebotomists are in charge of drawing blood and labeling and storing samples. They are also responsible for updating patients’ medical history, along with other basic administrative tasks. Phlebotomists, like medical assistants, interact with patients often and have to be cordial and knowledgeable about procedures in the clinic.

EKG Technician

Many medical assistants have experience using an electrocardiogram on patients, so some medical assistants choose to do it full time. Some job responsibilities of an EKG technician include identifying abnormal heart rhythms or connecting electrodes to leads. More experienced EKG technicians may conduct more advanced procedures, such as inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in order to examine the heart or observing and documenting heart murmurs.

Home Health Aide

A home health aide is a caregiver for someone who may find it challenging to go about daily tasks due to illness, disability, age, or other conditions. If you enjoy caring for patients, this job allows you to directly assist and improve the quality of someone’s life. Tasks you can expect as a home health aide include keeping track of medication, bathing and dressing the patient, and helping the patient get to their appointments. Home aides may also assist with more specific needs depending on the patient.[Source 2]

Health Unit Clerk

If you prefer the administrative side of being a medical assistant more than the clinical side, you will probably enjoy being a medical unit clerk. Unit clerks in hospitals handle administrative tasks[Source 3] such as record keeping or taking account of the hospital’s inventory and making sure to order more supplies if they are running low. They also do a large amount of data entry, whether it’s processing paperwork or updating patient records.

A career as a medical assistant allows you to gather valuable experience in both clinical and administrative settings in order to pursue other health-related jobs. It’s a great way to begin in the medical field because it allows you to get a feel for the medical environment and offers career mobility. If you are considering becoming a medical assistant, look into our medical assistant program or call 718-762-1900 for more information.


[1] https://www.registerednursing.org/ma-to-rn/

[2] https://www.rightathome.net/services/home-health-aide

[3] https://work.chron.com/medical-unit-clerk-functions-17417.html