If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant and are curious about what to expect from a medical assistant training program, you’re not alone. It’s perfectly natural to have some anxiety before beginning a new chapter in your life. While it would be helpful to sit down with a medical assistant and ask them questions prior to your training, it’s not always possible, so we’ve compiled these ten things MA students wish they knew before they started.
1. Create a Schedule
College life is a challenging and hectic time for every student, especially if you’re juggling work or family obligations in your personal life. Creating a well-planned schedule is essential when it comes to proper time management and ensuring that it all gets done.
2. Develop Good Study Habits
When it comes to studying, developing good study habits early on will make the process much less stressful and overwhelming. Schedule time to study, and commit yourself to it. Try to avoid procrastination and cramping for every test, and get a good night’s sleep.
3. Take Time for Yourself
Allowing yourself some downtime each week to do whatever it is you enjoy, or spend time with those you care about, is key to avoiding burnout and keeping your spirits up. Going back to school is hard, and it will take its toll. Remind yourself that taking care of YOU is just as important, and that working your way to a better career is temporary-the sacrifices you are making now will pay off big in the end.
4. Prepare For the CMA Exam Early
While the CMA exam might be months away, it can be tempting to procrastinate when it comes to the exam preparation. However, the more you’re able to study ahead of time, the better chance you’ll have at passing the test on the first try.
5. Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself
Take things one step at a time and try not to get ahead of yourself when it comes to your career. You have plenty of time to figure out where your MA career path will take you, whatever that may be. Becoming a medical assistant will open doors you don't even know exist yet, so appreciate every step of the way and learn as much as you can as you go.
6. Learning New Skills Takes Time
Try not to get frustrated if you’re struggling to learn a skill or concept during your training program, as it will all come in due time. Whatever you’re struggling with now will likely seem like second nature after becoming a medical assistant and gaining real on-the-job experience.
7. Ask for Help if You Need It
If you’re struggling with something, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Quality programs want to see you succeed and should have plenty of support in place for those who need it.
8. Focus on the Future, Not the Figure
Don’t sweat the small stuff you can’t control, such as repaying student loans while you’re still in school. Focus on becoming a medical assistant first, and the rest will work itself out later.
9. Relax and Enjoy the Ride
Enjoy your time as a student. Connecting with fellow MA students and learning new skills can be overwhelming and full of anxiety, just as anything new can be. Keeping things in perspective and investing in learning all you can is important, but don’t stress about the journey, enjoy it!
10. Find the Right Training Program
Finding the right medical assisting program is key to your success and is important. Make sure to do plenty of research before committing to a particular program to ensure that you’re choosing the best one to fit your needs and situation. Accreditation is imperative, too. And not all programs are created equal, so ask a lot of questions and take some campus tours so you can see first hand how the program works, and meet some of the staff and faculty to get a true feel for how the program will be.
Ready to Get Started?
The journey to becoming a medical assistant is filled with many challenges, surprises and rewards, and some days will be easier than others. However, if you stay committed and work hard, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a bright and successful career in no time.
If you’re interested in learning more about this exciting, rapidly growing career opportunity, contact Athena Career Academy to speak to our knowledgeable and supportive admissions team. We are here to help you succeed!