What to Know if You Want to Become a Medical Assistant in 2020 (Part II)

If you are a compassionate person looking for a career where you have the opportunity to help others, becoming a medical assistant is a good career choice in 2020.

In case you missed Part I of the Medical Assistant series, let’s recap the definition of a medical assistant, as well as the education requirements, before we discuss the job outlook for this field in 2020.

man and woman in scrubs looking at tablet while standing in hallway

Let’s Recap: What is a Medical Assistant?

A medical assistant helps with administrative and clinical tasks in healthcare settings. They may assist in a medical office, hospital, or other healthcare business. The job duties of a medical assistant may include taking patients’ histories and vitals, assisting with examinations, and handling medical records. In some cases, medical assistants will administer medication, remove sutures, and change dressings. The responsibilities vary per facility and per state law.  

Let’s Recap: What are the Education Requirements?

Depending on your location, you can become a medical assistant through on-the-job training or by getting certified. The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) administers a certification exam, and certified medical assistants must be recertified every 60 months. This can be done by continuing education or by exam. In 2018, sixty percent of candidates passed the AAMA exam.

Now let’s look at the employment projections for 2020, as well as some of the challenges you might face if you choose to become a medical assistant in 2020.

Employment Projections in 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for medical assistants is excellent. In the next decade, the number of positions is predicted to increase by 23 percent. This is because of the growing elderly population and increased demand for preventive medical care. The average wage of medical assistants was $33,610 in 2018.

Challenges for Medical Assisting in 2020

The biggest challenge in the field of medical assisting is the difficult patient. This can cause the very passionate and caring medical assistant to suffer burnout and leave the profession. Burnout is common in many medical professions, including among physicians and nurses, and there’s no denying that this is a difficult part of any medical profession.

On the flip side, you get to help people when they are at their most vulnerable. The rewards of working in the medical profession are often as wonderful as the challenges are difficult. A good candidate for the career of medical assistant can handle the occasional grumpy patient in return for all the positive impact he or she has on other patients and members of the medical community.

Becoming a medical assistant requires a minimal education investment in return for a secure career that is increasing in demand. Many positions for medical assistants include full benefits such as healthcare, matching retirement plans, and paid vacation. It is a good way to enter the medical field with a stable position and room for advancement.

For more informative healthcare articles, follow the Avidity Medical Design blog.

If you are interested in working from home in the field of healthcare, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!),” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

How to Fill in Gaps in Your Resume When You’re Starting a New Career in Healthcare

woman holding resume

The time has finally come: You’re ready to begin a new career in the healthcare industry. However, if you’ve recently been unemployed, you will have gaps in your resume. There are a lot of legitimate explanations for resume time gaps. Maybe you were taking care of a sick relative, or maybe you went back to school. You could have been laid off, or you could have had your own health-related problems. Potential employers will understand these gaps, but only if you handle them correctly.

Why You Need to Fill in Employment Gaps in Your Resume

Employment gaps in your resume can be detrimental to your job search, especially when you’re interviewing for a new job, so you must be able to explain any time gaps in employment in your resume. Many employers use applicant tracking systems to reduce the number of unqualified applicants. Resume gaps will lower your score on these automated systems, thereby decreasing the chance that your resume will fall into the hands of a human being.

Potential employers will want to know what you were doing while you were away from the workforce, even if you were away for personal or family reasons. This doesn’t mean you have to go into a lot of detail about the circumstances surrounding your unemployment, but you can use these gaps in your resume to highlight important skills you developed during your time off work. Doing this can make you a more attractive applicant, help you interview well, and can also help you be successful on your first day on the job.

Here are some things you can do to fill in the gaps on your resume, get hired, and start your first day on the job.

Different Ways You Can Fill in the Gaps

Never lie on your resume. The number one thing you should not do on your resume is lie. Employers will verify your work history, and if they see that you lied on your resume to fill in the gaps, they are less likely to trust you. This could cost you the job opportunity.

There are better ways to fill in the gaps on your resume, particularly when you’re entering the healthcare field. The key is to demonstrate to potential employers that you used your time away well. Use relevant experiences to boost your resume, such as:

  • Volunteer workDid you do any volunteering while unemployed? The skills you learned can be invaluable in your new career in the healthcare industry. Volunteer work for a healthcare organization is especially relevant.
  • Coursework/CertificationsIf you’re about to switch careers, it’s likely you spent some of your time away taking courses and earning certifications. Emphasize this on your resume.
  • Freelance workIf you spent some of your time off work picking up freelance jobs, explain how the skills you learned while you were freelancing will help you going forward. Feature work you did for clients in the healthcare field, if applicable.
  • Soft skills learnedYou’ve likely picked up skills during your time away from work. Determine what those are and explain how they make you an asset in your new career. For example, if you were taking care of a sick relative, share how that experience will make you a better worker in the healthcare field. If you were dealing with your own health issues, explain that it helped you develop empathy for patients.

Don’t be discouraged by the gaps in your resume. If you fill them in properly and leverage the skills you learned while you were unemployed, you will still be an attractive applicant to potential employers. If you want to learn more tips about entering the healthcare field, check out the Avidity Medical Design Blog. To learn more about the different healthcare careers that you can pursue, especially if you’re interested in working from home, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Make Money in Healthcare Working from Home (Full Time!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

To learn more about how to be a professional in healthcare, which is especially important if you get hired for your first job, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Learn Professionalism in Healthcare (with REAL-WORLD Examples!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy, so you can start out on the right foot on your first day on the job.

If you run into any personality conflicts with toxic co-workers on your new job, or you have toxic family members or friends who are stressing you out, consider enrolling in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused by TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

For more course offerings, visit the Avidity Medical Design Academy homepage.

6 Smart Social Media Tips: How You Can Use Social Media to Get Ahead in Your Healthcare Career

social media applications on iphone

Mastering social media is important for a successful career in any industry, and healthcare is no exception. There are special challenges when using social media in the healthcare setting, however.  If you share patient information by mistake, you could violate HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This is the law that protects the patient’s privacy, secures the patient’s medical record, and includes steps for notifying the Office of Civil Rights, or the OCR, when a security breach occurs and the patient’s medical record is illegally accessed.  In light of these considerations, you may be wondering where to start, or how to use social media to further your career as a healthcare professional. Here are six things you can do to invent or improve your social media presence as a healthcare professional:

1. Start a social media account (or several social media accounts).  

You might choose to start a social media account to invent or improve your social media presence in the healthcare field. Some of the most popular and recognizable social media platforms include LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. LinkedIn is popular with many industries, and healthcare is no exception.  If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you should definitely create a LinkedIn account, as well as an account on Twitter and Facebook for networking purposes, if you don’t already have one. Remember that you may want to create a separate business account, so that you don’t mix the information pertaining to your personal account with your business account.

2. Add anyone you meet.  

Make sure you add, follow, connect with, and friend as many people as you can to increase your professional network.  People from your classes and your professors are great first connections and serve as a great starting point to further your healthcare career.

3. List all the skills you can think of.  

This tip is specific to LinkedIn. Don’t be shy about listing your skills, as well as your educational and career achievements on LinkedIn. Recruiters use those skills to search for good healthcare candidates like yourself, especially when new positions open up, so give yourself credit and include as many of your accomplishments as possible on your LinkedIn page.

4. Follow healthcare businesses and leaders. 

Make sure you add healthcare-related businesses near you, or businesses that you are interested in. You can also follow Avidity Medical Design Consultants, LLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Reddit, for example.

5. Find things to share.  

Share information relevant to healthcare.  Pick things that interest you so your network can see you are passionate about healthcare.  Make sure not to share anything that can be seen as controversial; remember, future employers may see these posts.  The Avidity Medical Design Blog is a good place to get posts to share; there are many articles on the blog that pertain to a wide variety of healthcare subjects. 

6. Post and share often. 

The more you post and share, the more your name will come up in other people’s feeds, and the more your followers will look forward to new posts on different healthcare topics. These topics may pertain to pursuing a career in healthcare, advancing in the healthcare field if you’re already a healthcare professional, or preventative healthcare tips.

You can use these tips to enhance your social media presence on just about any platform.  In summary, no matter what social media site you choose, just remember these two rules when using social media as a healthcare professional:

  • Don’t share confidential information.  Again, HIPAA violations have serious consequences, including possible financial penalties, up to and including criminal prosecution. Be aware of this and avoid sharing confidential patient information on social media. You do not want to risk violating HIPAA law by posting confidential information about patients.
  • Don’t share controversial information.  This is another reason why you may want to have a professional account separate from your personal one. The information that you share may potentially be controversial from a healthcare treatment or technology standpoint, so you want to be careful about the information that you share.

You can start finding useful information to share by reviewing the articles on the Avidity Medical Design Blog. You may also want to follow the blog for useful, up-to-date, and pertinent insights on healthcare trends. 

How to Write a Great Resume if You Are New to Healthcare

woman holding resume with tablet in background
job search on online internet. applying for a job concept.

Writing a resume is an important part of the job search process. Your resume is your potential employer’s first chance to get to know you and to see whether you would be a good fit for their company. Many times, recruiters won’t spend more than a few minutes scanning over your resume, so it is important to make a good first impression. If you are new to the healthcare field, you are already at a disadvantage in relation to those who have previous experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be competitive. So what can do to make sure your resume stands out in the crowd?

Highlight Your Education

Often, your educational background is just as important as your work history. If you have a degree, make sure it is prominently listed on your resume. If your degree is in the healthcare field be sure to highlight it on your resume. If you don’t have a degree or your degree is in a field outside of healthcare, still list your degree because it highlights your versatility and makes you stand out from other candidates. Even though you may not get the position that you initially applied for, it increases the likelihood that you might be considered for other positions in the broader field of health information management, positions that may not yet have been posted on a job website or advertised in a newspaper.

If you have a degree in journalism, English, or instructional design, for example, you might be hired to design courses to train new healthcare employees or write job aids as continuing education tools for employees and contractors who are already working in the field. Don’t forget to include science classes, math classes, computer applications, and medical terminology classes as well. Remember that you can transfer what you learn in these types of classes, and you can transfer the skills that you acquire from using different types of computer applications to your new career in healthcare. Don’t worry if you have no previous schooling. There are many healthcare classes that you can take to enhance your resume, and increase the likelihood that you will stand out as a viable candidate when you apply for a position in healthcare. Avidity Medical Design Academy offers classes like medical terminology and medical coding that can be quickly and easily taken from the comfort of your home.

Showcase Your Skills

Your skills and experience are what make you a valuable employee. Highlight all of your skills throughout your resume, even skills that may not be directly related to the healthcare position that you are applying for, such as customer service, which shows you have good people skills, and shows that you can resolve potential communication conflicts in the healthcare setting. If you are an expert in certain computer applications, say so. If you were on a special committee, talk about what you did on the committee. Choose a layout for your resume that puts your skills, education, and experience in the best light, and helps you put your best foot forward. If you don’t have direct experience in healthcare, create a functional resume instead. A functional resume focuses on your skills and experience, rather than on your work history. Regardless of the type of resume that you choose, remember to list your skills in all sections of your resume, including your work history, educational background, and other sections of your resume.

Tip: Did you know that many large companies use a computer application to automatically scan resumes for certain keywords? This means if your resume is missing those keywords, it may not even be seen by human eyes. Scan each job listing that you apply for and find ways to include terms from the job listing on your resume. If you have dreamed about moving into the healthcare industry and working from home, now is the time. Visit Avidity Medical Design Academy to view our courses and see how we can help you find your dream job.