With the rise in demand for medical assistants continuing, more people are becoming enticed by the prospect of entering the field. Although this career path is especially popular with high school graduates, men and women of all ages have the opportunity to become a medical assistant too. One of the biggest barriers to this for those who already have responsibilities is the time it takes to attend college classes. In many cases, attending classes at a physical college incurs financial costs associated with travel, childcare, and spending less time at work. Fortunately, online learning is widely available to any high school graduate who wants to become a medical assistant. At first glance, this is an opportunity with plenty of scope for flexibility. However, learning the ropes of medicine through an online platform is not for everyone. Before taking this route, it is necessary to consider whether studying for a medical assistant qualification online is for you.
Overcoming the Challenges Associated With Learning About Healthcare From Home
Those who are studying nursing and medicine undoubtedly benefit from physical placements as they undergo their training. This is an essential aspect of such degrees, as practical applications matter as much as the knowledge you acquire academically. Clearly if this was an absolute barrier to becoming a medical assistant, accredited degrees would not exist online. However, that does not mean that removing practical applications from the equation allows for easy learning for all prospective medical assistants. While courses from providers like Kaplan do include healthcare placements at the end of the academic period, some people may require such learning processes throughout in order to excel. There are ways you can overcome this:
- Volunteering: Even one or two days a month can help you flourish in modules that focus on communicating with patients and electronic health records.
- Extra reading: Checking out RSS feeds from the World Health Organization and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners can help you learn more about ongoing healthcare challenges and fresh developments in technology.
- Watching videos on YouTube: There is a surprising amount of free content available through YouTube. This includes overviews of blood pressure taking and laboratory techniques.
Learning in a Way That is Right for You
Whether you have just left high school, or it has been a while since you’ve interacted with an academic institution, exploring the world of healthcare academia without consistent guidance is a little overwhelming. Most online medical assistant courses allow you to blend your learning methods. However, some people find that they could benefit from more auditory learning experiences. If some courses lack this, it is natural to feel frustrated—especially if you are just making the leap from high school to self-directed learning. As mentioned before, there is an abundance of material available through YouTube—this includes medical lectures. You can take material straight from YouTube and convert it to an audio file for your convenience. This is especially beneficial for those who already lead a busy lifestyle, such as stay at home parents and individuals who already have a job. If auditory learning does not appeal to you, you can try using flashcards. Creating your own is often beneficial, as the process encourages you to remember essential material.
Interacting With Other Students
It is understandable that prospective medical assistants will worry about no student interaction. Thanks to the Internet, online learning programs now proactively encourage interaction as part of their programs. Some even measure student success by asking students to interact with each other via live forums. Regardless of whether your program asks you to do this, there are several ways you can use student interaction to shape your future practice, as well as your learning experience:
- Learning from other people’s perspectives often enlightens you to aspects of patient interactions you may miss. Becoming a medical assistant involves developing great communication skills. You can learn from what others share on student forums.
- You can buddy up with someone and use them as a study aid. When it comes to tests and assignments, having someone to help you through the process can enhance your academic knowledge significantly.
- Other prospective medical assistants may already have experience working as medical receptionists and other similar roles. By interacting with them, you can learn about electronic patient records, and other innovations.
Some are naturally going to find online learning more challenging than others. However, by placing the possibilities available to you in perspective, you may even find that training to be a medical assistant online is actually the better option for you.