Expectations of a Medical Assistant Externship

You can learn a lot in the classroom, but you can’t learn everything; especially if you are studying to be a Medical Assistant. Being an MA is a job that requires extensive medical knowledge as well as skills and professional attributes that can only be gained through hands-on experience. At the Allen School of Health Sciences, as in most Medical Assistant programs, that comes in the form of an externship that is made up of 275 hours in a healthcare facility. We want to prepare our students for all aspects of the work, as such, we have developed an outline of what to expect from your Medical Assistant externship.

Working under Supervision

Probably the greatest benefit of a Medical Assistant externship is the opportunity it provides to practice skills and duties while being supervised. In your classes, you’ll learn what and why an MA does what they do. However, the moment you apply that knowledge in the real world with real patients, even the simplest tasks like taking blood pressure can be daunting but the good news is that you are not alone.

Your supervisor will work with you closely, especially at the beginning, to ensure you remember everything you’ve learned in class.  This will enable you to feel comfortable administering your duties. In addition to acting as a guide, your supervisor may also serve as your safety net to ensure you don’t miss anything. This aspect of supervision can and should relieve a lot of pressure. It is common to feel nervous before you’ve gained your skill, practice, and habits, but a supervisor’s presence should assuage your fears.

You will also be able to observe them as well as others who perform procedures that you will eventually do yourself. It’s one thing to read about Medical Assisting in a textbook and quite another to witness it in a working environment. The example your supervisor and others set will give you more opportunities to learn before you perform a task yourself.

Asking a Thousand Questions

Your Medical Assistant externship should be a time to unleash your curiosity. These 275 hours may be training hours, but they are also an opportunity to learn all aspects of a job from the professionals who are doing them. In class, you will learn about best practices and may have already asked why different medical procedures are done a certain way. In your externship, you can ask the less technical questions such as “How do you help nervous patients calm down?” and “Why do we put away files like this?” Asking questions that interest you will make all aspects of the work more personalized and help the answers stick.

Learning the Role

A major part of the job is communication. The authority with which you carry yourself and the empathy you bring to patient interactions can’t be taught in a lecture. They are skills, critical to the position, that you can only learn in your Medical Assistant externship.. As you practice and watch the professionals around you, you’ll understand the interpersonal aspects of the work and you will excel at them. When you begin your externship, you may feel like a student but ideally by the time you leave, you can expect to feel like you fit the role of Medical Assistant.

Gaining Confidence

At the end of your externship, you can expect to feel confident in your abilities to be a Medical Assistant. Self-confidence is a huge part of any healthcare job.  This can be challenging for educators as it cannot be learned in a textbook or seminar. Gaining confidence in your ability to perform administrative and clinical duties requires practice, real life experience, and supportive supervision; in other words, an externship. You won’t just learn how to be a Medical Assistant: You will become one.

At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we are committed to preparing our Medical Assistant students for employment as soon as they graduate.  This is the reason why externships are such a critical component of our curriculum. If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, you can earn your certificate in less than a year. We are enrolling now for classes starting soon.  As always, we would love to hear from you!  Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more about an exciting career as a Medical Assistant. -Allen School


Medical Assisting: Turning challenges into rewards

You dreamed of a Medical Assistant career where your life’s work would be all about helping others. You wanted to contribute your knowledge and compassion to a healthcare team that helps patients get well but the profession has its challenges. So how do you turn those challenges into rewards and accomplishments you can be proud of? How can you do the job you love? Follow these steps:

Accept diversity

Not all your patients, or even all the people you work with, are going to think just like you. If you understand that fact from the get-go, you will be able to approach certain situations from a medical standpoint, and not a personal one. You also may not look at differences as a bad thing. Instead, you’ll come to appreciate diversity and enjoy getting to know others. Learn about their cultures and ideas and share yours. Isn’t it awesome that you get to meet so many different people as a Medical Assistant?

Empower your patients

No one enjoys being hurt or sick; all they want to do is get better and as a Medical Assistant, you get to help them! Share what you’ve learned through your healthcare training at the Allen School of Health Sciences and experiences you have learned working in the healthcare field. Will give your patients some of the tools they need to get well. For example, you probably understand the importance of following a physician’s instructions to the T. You can explain the doctor’s instructions and turn medical terminology into a language your patients can understand. All that information helps your patients take charge of their own care. The more they do what they’re supposed to, the sooner they’ll be on the mend.

Advocate for your patients

How can doctors possibly help patients if they don’t have all the details of what’s going on? Since you might spend more time with patients than even their doctors, you could have vital information that will improve their treatment. Encourage your patients to be completely open and honest about how they feel and to tell their doctor everything. In the case when they don’t, it’s your job to make certain the healthcare staff knows what they need to make good decisions for the best patient care. Communication can be a challenge in any setting, but your patients rely on you to have their best interest at heart and their good health and sincere appreciation is a great reward.

Acknowledge your limitations

It’s frustrating to deal with difficult patients. It’s hard when you really can’t make someone better and when you don’t have all the answers but you’re not supposed to! It’s important to remember what you can and can’t do as a Medical Assistant. Focus on the positive. You can offer kindness and comfort; a smile and a pleasant attitude can go a long way to turn grumpy patients into happy people.

The best reward about being a Medical Assistant is to know that you can make a difference in someone’s day, in their care, and maybe even their life. If you’re up for a challenge because you really want to do something that matters, maybe a career as a Medical Assistant is right for you.

Interested in learning more about developing the skills and attributes of a Medical Assistant? Ready to start a Medical Assistant Program?  The Allen School of Health Sciences is offering virtual campus tours for enrollment for our classes starting soon. Contact the Allen School today! We cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu​ to learn more.  -Allen School


Medical Assistant: Tips for a Virtual Interview

The global pandemic has up-ended how we connect and how we work. Working from home has become a new normal for now but may have lasting repercussions on how healthcare providers view the necessity of an office, in-person appointments or patient care. A video interview may well become the new norm and nailing a video interview is likely to become another requirement for successful job seekers in the medical field. Here’s how:

Acknowledge the situation:  We’re all adjusting to a weird new normal, working from our homes with family members and pets nearby. Of course, your interviewer would much rather meet you in person in their office environment but here’s the bright side; your video interview can be an opportunity to connect a little more authentically, with grace and good humor. No doubt your interviewer’s business has been radically affected by the global pandemic. Express your appreciation for the interview taking place, despite the chaos unfolding all around.

Practice the technology: Make the time to have a video call with a tech-savvy friend ahead of time on the platform that you’ll be using (Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, FaceTime, etc.). If you are unfamiliar with the technology, fumbling with it 15 minutes before the video call is a rookie move. Select a place to have the video call where you’ll be uninterrupted and figure out the lighting and background that appears professional. Be sure that your computer audio is working and make sure that if you have to accept a connection ahead of time (as with Skype) that you’ve done so and your user name is professional. Make sure your technology is charged up and that your Wi-Fi signal is strong or that you can toggle off your cell phone at the last minute if your service goes down. If all else fails, ensure you have the phone number of your interviewer on hand so that your interview can continue even if the video technology fails.

Dress and act the part: Dress as you would for an in-person meeting. You’ll want to appear professional, serious and ready to get to work; even if it’s from your basement. Dressing up beyond your normal work from home sweatpants and a tee shirt will also shift your mindset to a more professional one as well as help you stay focused during the interview. Remember to maintain eye contact, no quick movements and pause your communication to allow for transmission delays.

Make a friend first:  As with any interview, you’ll want to be friendly, relatable and establish rapport at the outset. Your goal is to come across as a potential colleague so be yourself but look for common points of connection (mutual friends, experiences, academic background, interests).

Have answers to important questions: Every Medical Assistant candidate should be prepared with solid answers to the following:

  • Tell me about all the experience you have as a Medical Assistant? Internship work counts.  It’s good to know how much experience other candidates have as a Medical Assistant.
  • Why are you right for the role?  Be able to explain what you bring in terms of experience, leadership, personal attributes that make you a good fit for the company, the situation and the role as a Medical Assistant?
  • Do you have experience handling front office obligations? Are you comfortable answering phones and greeting patients? Medical Assistants are often tasked with doing a mix of administrative and clinical work.
  • What phlebotomy training have you had, if any? Drawing blood is part of the Medical Assistant’s job. Be ready to talk about your phlebotomy training, comfort with taking blood and your ability to take patient vitals.
  • Follow up, even if they don’t. After your interview is over, send a warm email thank you within 24 hours and express your enthusiasm for the company and the role, and make sure to reference something from your conversation. If you are interviewing with multiple people, make each email slightly different (yes, colleagues compare thank you emails).

At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we are devoted to fostering positivity, empathy, professionalism, and integrity in our future medical assistants.  The Allen School of Health Sciences is offering virtual campus tours for enrollment for our classes starting soon. Contact the Allen School today! We cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu​ to learn more.

-Allen School


Choosing a Career in The Medical Field

Figuring out what type of career you want to pursue is not an easy decision. It’s important to take a lot of things into consideration. If you’re thinking about a career in the medical field, for instance, you should consider the advantages it offers:

  • You’ll be in Demand. Certain jobs in the medical field, such as Medical Assistants, Home Health Aides and Nurses, are in high demand in different parts of the country. It’s nice to know when you graduate that you have a strong job market to go into.
  • Stability. The world may change but there will likely always be medical jobs. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, there will continue to be illness and disease which means there is a need for healthcare professionals. In addition, a change in the economy does not affect medical jobs the same way it affects other fields.
  • Meeting Interesting People. Many jobs in the medical field, such as Medical Assistants, Therapists, and Nurses involve patient care. As a healthcare professional, you’ll have the chance to meet all types of people in various situations. If you’re a people person, a healthcare career might be for you!
  • Make an Impact. If you’re looking for a job where you can help people and make an impact, healthcare is a good choice. From helping bring a baby into the world to treating patients, medical workers make a difference every day.

Think you might have what it takes, but afraid to ask? Take part in one of our virtual career planning sessions and discover the many healthcare pathways available to you. Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our classes starting soon and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.

-Allen School


Medical Assistant Tips on How to Work with Physicians

  1. Remember the physician is a person, just like you.

Working with a physician for the first time can be intimidating to some new Medical Assistants. Physicians’ authority and experience can make them seem like the end-all point of knowledge in the workplace, but it’s important to remember that the physician you work with is a person with thoughts and feelings, just like you. Make an effort to get to know them outside of work-related communications.

You can do this and still maintain a very professional demeanor in your job — just ask a few questions about their hobbies, where they studied, or other interests. Before you know it, you’ll have found a common topic to help you build a friendly sense of camaraderie. This can do wonders in Medical Assisting, just like it does in any other field, because professional collaboration is always stronger when there’s a foundation of goodwill and friendliness to support it. It may make you nervous to break the ice the first time, but you will most likely find that reaching out to find common ground is well worth the nerves.

  1. Practice active listening.

Your day can be hectic at times, getting information from all directions as a new Medical Assistant, but despite the volume of communication coming your way, you’ll quickly learn to tackle all of it with ease and grace if you make a conscious effort to listen actively.  To be an active listener, check in with yourself when gathering information from doctors and patients to make sure you’re not distracted by thoughts about your next meal, your personal life or any other scenario unrelated to the present moment. One way to become an extra-skilled active listener is to repeat back what you hear to the person speaking. While it may sound robotic, it’s actually a great way to make people feel that they’ve been heard and understood. There are plenty of ways to become a better listener and Medical Assistants become better collaborators the more they improve this skill.

  1. Set the physician up for success at every visit.

One of your main tasks as a Medical Assistant will be managing the beginning and end of a patient visit. You will need to take measurements and vitals, gather information from patients, explain medications and treatments- among many other tasks that make up a patient’s visit. Your physician will be grateful to arrive into the exam room t if you do your part to gather all the necessary information and record it in a clear, concise, and timely manner.

When you fill the physician in on the symptoms the patient is experiencing, try to imagine what you would want to know from their perspective. Put an effort toward giving the physician just the right amount of detail — not too much and not too little. And of course, it goes without saying that taking accurate measurements and recording them properly is central to your success as a Medical Assistant. Making sure to set the physician up for success will improve your collaborative relationship and ultimately put your patient’s health in good hands.

  1. Speak up confidently when you see an error.

Wherever you choose to work as a Medical Assistant, minding the details is one way in which you can make a real impact. Just because the physician you’ll be working with has tons of professional experience, doesn’t mean that they will have 100 percent accuracy as far as prescriptions, charting, and other documentation goes. Don’t be afraid to mention something if you see it being overlooked. It might take a bit of courage, but it’s worth it to know you’re acting in your patient’s best interest.

  1. Be self-sufficient.

Sometimes the strongest collaborators are those who know how to find answers to their own questions. You’ll be in regular communication with physicians as a Medical Assistant, but sometimes it’ll be a win to their workday for you to exhaust other sources before bringing them in to help solve a problem. The trick is discerning between which specific situations require the physician’s attention and which don’t. This distinction might take a little time, but being proactive and self-sufficient will make you a huge asset to any medical team; it’s a great way to collaborate by holding your time management and prioritization to a strong standard.

To learn more about our health care programs and externships, contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for classes starting soon, and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.


Medical Assistant: Tips to Help Your Loved Ones Go Back to School.

Do you have a loved one currently attending school? Is he or she in school to start a new career? Here are easy tips you can follow to give the students in your life the support they need for their upcoming class start:

  • Believe in them. It takes a big leap of faith to enroll in a health care program for the first time or return to school after a long absence. Believing and vocalizing support in your loved one’s ability to succeed as a student can help boost their confidence when they have doubts.
  • Be a cheerleader. Deliver encouraging messages in person, text, email or even social media! Sharing words of support such as “You can do it!” or “Thanks for working so hard!” may seem minor, but if you cheer your loved one on frequently and with feeling, they will have no doubts about your desire to see them succeed.
  • Celebrate milestones in a big way. Another module complete – toast to your loved one’s success! Share the excitement.
  • Be inspired. It’s inspiring to see someone you love overcome challenges or doubts towards reaching an end goal. Going back to school is not easy but it is temporary.
  • “Like” the small achievements. Have a Facebook or Instagram friend who is going back to school? Pay attention to their news feed. If they mention studying for an exam, send an encouraging note. “Like” their education achievements big or small – from handing in a paper on time to learning about their externship. Let them know you are paying attention and care about their success.
  • Watch the kids. School experts agree that one of the single biggest challenges facing parents going back to school is consistent childcare. Whether your loved one is your spouse, friend, sibling, or child, you can make things easier by offering to help with their children and honor your commitment. You will be amazed at how much studying an adult student can accomplish in 4 hours of kid-free time on a Saturday morning.
  • Make a school schedule together. Going back to school as an adult requires serious time management skills. Create a family calendar. Block off times for work and school. Block off times for homework and study. Block off times for family and fun. Get the kids on a regular bedtime routine. Remember that you are in this together.

Some days your loved one may feel like going back to school is an impossible goal. On those days, your ability to listen may be all that matters.

Are you ready to start working towards a career you can love? Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for classes starting soon and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.

-Allen School


Medical Assistant: Is it a Good Career Choice for you?

Medical Assistant: Is it a Good Career Choice for you?

Are you thinking about attending the Allen School of Health Sciences? One of the popular programs at many career schools is the Medical Assistant program. If you are considering this career, you might want to ask, is Medical Assistant a good career choice for you? Here are some of the topics you might want to think about.

What qualities make a good Medical Assistant?

This career field is all about working with patients, and serving as a link between patients, nurses, and doctors. Compassion, patience, and the desire to help others are all good personality traits if you are considering this career. It is also important to have good attention to detail, strong communications skills, and up-to-date computer skills.

Is Medical Assistant a good career choice for today’s job market?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm) Employment of Medical Assistants is projected to grow 23 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. The average for other occupations listed in the handbook is 11%. The handbook attributes this projected growth to a few trends:

  • • The growth of the aging baby-boomer population will increase the demand for more medical services.
  • • Primary care is a steadily growing sector of the healthcare industry, and primary care is where most Medical Assistants work.

What do Medical Assistants do?

If you are going to picture yourself in a new career, it helps to know what kinds of tasks you would be expected to do. Medical Assistants typically help with both administrative tasks and clinical tasks within doctor’s offices and other healthcare facilities. The duties vary, depending on the job, but some of the tasks might include: taking a patient’s history; measuring vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, and weight; giving injections; preparing specimens for laboratory testing; and schedule appointments.

What are the working conditions like for Medical Assistants?

Most people in this field work in medical offices or other healthcare settings. The work environment is typically professional, well-lit, and clean. Most Medical Assistants wear scrubs to work, and most spend much of the day on their feet.

The hours can vary. Most positions are full-time and hours can sometimes include evening and weekends. Some Medical Assistants work shifts if they work in medical facilities that are open 24 hours a day, such as hospitals.

What kind of training or education is necessary?

Training requirements vary, depending on the employer. Many Medical Assistants have completed programs at a postsecondary institution such as the Allen School of Health Sciences. At the Allen School, our accelerated training program to become a Medical Assistant can be accomplished in less than a year. In order to protect our community during the COVID-19 crisis, The Allen School of Health Sciences is offering virtual campus tours for enrollment for our classes starting soon. Contact the Allen School today! We cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu​ to learn more.

-Allen School


Helpful Tips to Becoming a Better Medical Assistant

For students in a Medical Assistant program, you may be busy learning about the clinical aspects of the job which can include drawing blood, administering an injection, or taking a patient’s vital signs. These are clearly a very important part of your training but in addition, there are “soft skills” that are important to your training as well. Learning to be a reliable employee is a skill that can be used throughout your entire career. Try these tips for getting a strong start in your new career.

1. Be an Early Bird

Plan to arrive at work 10 to 15 minutes early every day. You will need this time to put your belongings away and get ready for your workday. This gives you time to review the list of patients who are scheduled and to check on the day’s supplies. It helps you avoid the feeling of having to “hit the ground running” the minute you step in the door. By arriving early, you can start off your workday feeling calm and organized.

2. Stay Positive

Work is called “work” for a reason; it’s hard work! Every day there may be tasks that you don’t enjoy, changes that you weren’t expecting, or problems that arise. Rather than griping or complaining, take a positive approach! Remember that handling problems is simply part of the job. Try to focus on the parts of the job that you do enjoy rather than the negative aspects. With a positive attitude, you will find that you inspire the others around you.

3. Carry Your Own Weight

As a Medical Assistant, you will be part of a healthcare team in a medical office or a hospital setting. Others on your team might include nurses, office staff, physicians, and fellow Medical Assistants. Each of these people are counting on you to do your job. If you shirk your responsibilities, then someone else will have to pick up your slack. Make sure you take your responsibilities seriously and put forth your best effort to fulfill your duties. As a team member, you should also be proactive. If you see a need that isn’t being fulfilled, see where you can help. This kind of approach helps make you a valuable member of your team.

4. Be Respectful to Anyone and Everyone

Medical offices and hospitals are busy places. In the course of serving patients throughout the day, healthcare professionals can get stressed and hurried. Despite this, try to stay polite and respectful to everyone throughout the day. Showing respect to others will result in receiving their respect in return. This includes everyone you work with from the newest employees to the head honchos. Most of all, this includes patients; even those who may test your patience. Being a respectful person is a career skill that should stay with you for your entire career.

5. Keep up with Your Education

In a field like Medical Assisting, you need to be sure to keep your skill sharp. New technologies and medications are always arising, and you want to be sure to stay on the cutting edge. Be sure to attend continuing education classes, join a professional association and read their newsletters and blogs regularly. Having up-to-date knowledge of your career field is something that you can be proud of and something that others will respect.

Following these tips is a way to “go the extra mile” as a Medical Assistant. If you follow these guidelines, you can improve your approach to your work. What’s more, the better you perform on the job, the better you will feel about your career.

At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we are devoted to fostering the necessary positivity, empathy, professionalism, and integrity in future medical assistants. The Allen School of Health Sciences is offering virtual campus tours for enrollment for our classes starting soon. Contact the Allen School today! We cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu​ to learn more.

-Allen School


Being Positive in School Can Make a Difference

Don’t let school get you down! Whether you’re frustrated with your performance or dreading your next exam, a positive attitude towards school can go a long way! Think about all the positive improvements getting an education can have on your life. Having a positive attitude increases your chances of a better academic performance. The Allen School of Health Sciences knows how a positive attitude can brighten a student’s day and help them make the most out of their educational experience. We offer students seven steps for maintaining a positive attitude towards school.

Step #1: Think Positively

Positive thinking is powerful! You can succeed at school if you put in the effort and attitude that your education needs to thrive. Do you have a habit of thinking negatively? Your first step is to replace any negative attitudes you may have with positive ones. You can think about the positive aspects or what you’ve learned from a negative situation. Start by turning negative phrases into positive ones. Use these examples to help you turn your attitude:

  • “I can’t” becomes “I can try”
  • “I can’t learn this” becomes “Can you explain that again?”
  • “I hate this class” becomes “This class is hard for me, but I want to learn the material to become more knowledgeable.”
  • “This is too much homework” becomes “The more I do my homework, the more knowledge I can gain.”
  • “This teacher assigns too much homework” becomes “This teacher really wants us to learn how to succeed.”
  • “I’m not smart enough to learn this” becomes “I can try and practice until I succeed.”

Step #2:  Be Proud of Yourself

You can build a positive approach to school if you compliment yourself on your achievements. Students learn new material every day. Remember to compliment yourself on not only the big but also the small achievements throughout your training program. When you do well on a homework assignment, congratulate yourself on a job well done. When you see yourself try, improve, or succeed in your technical skills or test scores, treat yourself to something you enjoy. Staying positive towards your skills and effort can help build your self-esteem and your academic career.

Step #3: Share Your Positivity with Friends

You may have friends that complain about school. Sometimes our friends’ negative attitudes and frustrations bring down our own experiences. You may want to help them see the bright side of situations. Tell your friends that having a negative attitude toward school won’t help their situation. Show them how to use positive affirmations and comments to turn around their outlook on school. Let them know that staying positive towards school may help their education open doors to success. You can also move the topic to positive topics. If your friends or classmates are having trouble, organize a study group. Try to make friends with people who can positively influence you and your environment.

Step #4: Take a Pause- Respond Don’t React

It’s helpful to maintain a positive and peaceful environment at school. Some people may complain about tests or homework while other people may get emotional during tense situations. Try not to jump to conclusions and stay level-headed. Catch yourself if you start complaining about a project or thinking the rules were better the old way. Take a pause and a deep breath before you react negatively and respond with less emotion; Refocus your reaction and give yourself time to respond positively to the situation.

Step #5: Use the Golden Rule

Treat others as you would like to be treated. Being petty, aggressive, or mean to others only causes negative consequences at school. Don’t waste your time on negative relationships. When you act kindly and treat others the way you want to be treated, you can make friends and surround yourself with positive energy. You will also need these traits in your professional career.

Step #6: Practice Gratitude 

Showing gratitude helps you stay grounded and appreciate what you have in life. Make a list of positive aspects in your life, even if they are small. They can be as simple as enjoying a TV show or playing with your kids. What are you grateful for? What do you appreciate in life?

Step #7: Interact with the World Around You

Are you constantly plugged into your phone? Many of us use our phones for everything throughout the day and it can distract us from the outside world. If you spend the school day on your phone, you aren’t taking advantage of your education. Be present and prepared for school each day. Focus on learning, participating, and listening at school. You could become more passionate and engaged with your schoolwork when you concentrate. You may like your studies more!

Start your new career in healthcare today! Contact the Allen School of Health Sciences. We are enrolling now for our classes starting soon and cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.

-Allen School


Expectations of a Medical Assistant Externship

You can learn a lot in the classroom, but you can’t learn everything, especially if you’re studying to be a Medical Assistant. It’s a job that requires extensive medical knowledge, as well as skills and professional attributes that can only be gained through hands-on experience. At the Allen School of Health Sciences, as at most medical assistant programs, this comes in the form of an externship. Consisting of 275 hours in a healthcare facility. We want to ensure our students are prepared for all aspects of this career. In order to assist you, we have written an outline of what to expect from your Medical Assistant externship.

Working under Supervision

Probably the greatest benefit of a Medical Assistant externship is opportunity to practice skills and duties while being supervised. In your classes, you’ll learn what and why Medical Assistants do what they do. When you take that knowledge into the real world with real patients, however, some tasks can be daunting. The good news is that you’re not alone, and there is a huge support system.

Your supervisor will work with you closely, especially at the beginning, to ensure you remember everything you’ve learned in class, and you feel comfortable administering your duties. In addition, your supervisor may also serve as your safety net to ensure that you don’t miss anything. This aspect of supervision can and should relieve a lot of pressure. It’s common to feel nervous before you’ve gained your skills, practice, and habits, but a supervisor’s presence should assuage most of these fears.

You’ll also be able to watch your supervisor and others perform procedures that you’ll eventually perform yourself. It’s one thing to read about Medical Assisting in a textbook and quite another to witness it in a working environment. The examples of your supervisor and others will give you opportunities to learn before you must perform a task yourself and provide you with confidence to do so.

Asking a Thousand Questions

Your Medical Assistant externship should be a time to unleash your curiosity. These 275 hours of training, provide an opportunity to learn all aspects of a job from the professionals who are doing it every day. In class, you’ll learn about best practices and may have already questioned different medical procedures are done a certain way. In your externship, you can ask the less technical questions such as “How do you help nervous patients calm down?” or “Why do we put files away like this?”

Asking questions that interest you will make all aspects of the work more personal and will help the answers stick.

Learning the Role

A big part of the job is all about communication. The authority with which you carry yourself, and the empathy you bring to patient interactions cannot be taught in a lecture. They’re skills, critical to the position, that you can only learn in your Medical Assistant externship, and you will learn them! As you practice and observe the professionals around you, you’ll understand the interpersonal aspects of the work, and you’ll become good at them. When you begin your externship, you will feel like a student. However, by the time you leave, you can expect to feel like you fit the role.

Gaining Confidence

As a result of this experience, you can expect to feel confident in your abilities in becoming a medical assistant. Self-confidence is a huge part of any healthcare job and is often challenging for educators since it can’t be learned in a textbook or seminar. Gaining confidence in your ability to perform administrative and clinical duties requires practice, life experience, and supportive supervision. It requires, in other words, an externship. Here, you won’t just learn how to be a Medical Assistant, you’ll become one.

At the Allen School of Health Sciences, we’re committed to preparing our Medical Assistant students for work as soon as they graduate, which is why externships are such a critical portion of our curriculum. Contact the Allen School today! We are enrolling now for our classes starting soon! We cannot wait for you to become part of the Allen School family. Visit www.allenschool.edu to learn more.

-Allen School