With a growing population and a constant change in healthcare demands, the nature of the medical workplace is always evolving. Working as a medical assistant gives you the chance to work in a fast paced environment. It is a role that suits caring individuals, and those who are happy to face consistent challenges. If you are exploring the idea of becoming a medical assistant, it is a good idea to determine whether the role is for you. Whether you are about to leave high school, or you are older, you can explore this through volunteering. Volunteering your time in a healthcare setting gives you the chance to see what medical assistants face. Although you are likely aware of the duties a medical assistant takes on, it is voluntary experience that can help you witness different healthcare scenarios first hand. Volunteering not only prepares you for the role, it is a good way to show your commitment as a candidate when applying for jobs.
Finding Volunteer Work
Many states and counties now offer youth volunteer programs for those who are leaving high school. One example of this is the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which offers a summer healthcare volunteering program for 14-18 year olds. The health needs of veterans are often some of the most challenging, which gives you the chance to determine whether you feel you are the best person to help deliver their care. As well as offering summer programs, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs allows you to email your resume, along with a covering letter explaining how you would like to volunteer. Alternatively, you can try contacting the HR department of private hospitals in your local area. Send them your resume, a cover letter, and your contact details. With volunteer work on your resume, you stand a stronger chance of getting the medical assistant job you want. You can also take away interpersonal skills from the experience, which assists you with interviews and future positions.
Transferable Volunteer Skills
There are some things that high school and college cannot teach you. If you emerge from high school or college with a sound understanding of the subjects you study, that is great. However, you may lack the interpersonal and situational skills required to excel in your proposed field. For example, one challenging aspect of working in healthcare is record keeping and drug interactions. According to Licensed Prescriptions, patient records “are both strictly guarded and easily accessible to patients and physicians.” This happens for a reason. Strictly monitoring a patient’s records—especially when it comes to drug administration—ensures the right information is recorded. Medical assistants now play a role in record keeping, and have to be meticulous while doing so. Failing to record a drug properly can lead to dangerous drug interactions. By volunteering, you can witness how stringent this record keeping is, which gives you an idea of how to operate in your proposed working environment. Training is always provided for working medical assistants, but it doesn’t hurt to adopt skills beforehand.
Volunteering While Getting Your Medical Assistant Education
There are schools and colleges across the U.S. offering medical assistant programs to those who want to enter the field. Some courses are held on campus, while others take place online. In both instances, you can stand out from your cohort by taking the time to volunteer in a medical setting. Volunteering is particularly important for those who need to complete their education online due to other commitments. This is something that Kaplan University notes. Kaplan University offers its program in an offline and online setting. For those who take the physical setting, working in a healthcare environment while studying is a big part of the course. As Kaplan University correctly states, this is because an increasing number of employers want healthcare experience. As a volunteer taking an offline or online course, simply dedicating a day a week to this purpose is enough to make you stand out from the crowd. Doing this complements aspects of the program that include good patient communication, and monitoring vital signs. It is also incredibly important for those wishing to acquire laboratory skills—as there is only so much books can teach you. All that remains is for you to find the right opportunity, and explore it.