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 a lot of 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, which comes in the form of an internship: 275 hours in a health care facility. We want to prepare our students for all aspects of the work, and to help you prepare, we’ve written an outline of what to expect from your Medical Assistant internship.
Working under Supervision
The greatest benefit of a Medical Assistant internship is the opportunity it provides to practice skills and duties while being supervised. In your classes, you’ll learn what and why Medical Assistants do what they do, but the moment you take that knowledge into the real world with real patients, even the simplest things like taking blood pressure can be daunting. The good news is: You’re not alone.
Your supervisor will work with you closely, especially at the beginning, to ensure you remember everything you’ve learned in class—and that you feel comfortable administering your duties. In addition, your supervisor may also serve as your safety net to ensure you don’t miss anything. That aspect of supervision can and should relieve a lot of pressure. It’s common to feel nervous before you’ve gained your skill, practice, and habits, but a supervisor’s presence should assuage most of those fears.
You’ll also be able to watch your supervisor and others perform procedures you’ll eventually do yourself. It’s one thing to read about medical assisting in a textbook and do hands on learning in our classroom’s clinical setting and quite another to witness it in a working environment. The example of your supervisor and others will give you more opportunities to learn before you do a task yourself.
Asking a Thousand Questions.
Your Medical Assistant internship should be a time to unleash your curiosity. These 275 hours are training, but they’re also an opportunity to learn all aspects of a job from the people who are doing it. In class, you’ll learn about best practices and may have already asked why different medical procedures are done a certain way. In your internship, you can ask the less technical questions like “How do you help nervous patients calm down?” and “Why do we put away the files like this?”
Asking questions that interest you will make all aspects of the work more personal—and will help you with getting the skills necessary to be a medical assistant.
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 can’t be taught in a lecture. ,These are critical skills that you can only learn in your medical assistant internship. As you practice and watch the professionals around you, you’ll understand the interpersonal aspects of the work, and you’ll become good at them. When you begin your internship, you’re going to feel like a student. By the time you leave, you can expect to feel like you fit the role.
As a result, you can expect to feel confident in your abilities to be a medical assistant at the end of your internship. Self-confidence is a huge part of any healthcare job, which can be 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 internship, where 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 internships are such a critical portion of our program. If you’re interested in our accelerated program where you can graduate in less than a year the Allen School of Health Sciences is enrolling now for classes starting soon. Contact us today! www.allenschool.edu