When you’re studying to become a medical assistant, a vital part of your education that all major medical employers value should involve participating in an externship. A medical assisting externship, a requirement of the Florida Academy Medical Assisting Program, gives you the opportunity to enhance your studies, applying additional hands-on experience in an actual healthcare facility. If you make the most of your externship, it could turn into a real job once you graduate.
An externship is a way to jumpstart your career because you can apply the skills you’ve learned to a real work situation. In a way, you can think of it as an “audition” for an actual job because you will likely “shadow” (follow) a professional who is already working in the field. This might be a doctor, nurse, lab technician or even another medical assistant.
Turning an Externship into a Job
Here are some tips for turning the professional knowledge you’ll gain from your externship into a job after you graduate.
- Make an excellent first impression. Be friendly and courteous and get to know the names and responsibilities of your co-workers. Even if you’re nervous and unsure, remain positive.
- Talk to your supervisor about your goals and his or her expectations. It’s best to do this as soon as you start so that you’re both on the same page.
- Be professional in the way you act, dress and work. Avoid engaging in office gossip and politics. Remember, too, that you should consider it as a regular job and always be ready and on time.
- Research the company. Talk to your teachers at Florida Academy or look online to learn company details about the healthcare facility where you’ll be working. It will show that you’re interested and could also make you more comfortable while you’re doing your externship.
- Keep learning. Read medical assisting articles and medical journals and ask a question when you need to. Take notes if you’re able and follow up at home by learning more about a clinical procedure you may have helped with or anything else that you might not be so familiar with. The more interest and initiative you show, the better “employee” you’d make.
- Find a mentor who is willing to share his or her expertise with you and then act like a sponge, soaking up all the information you can. A mentor may also help you network with others in the field or even recommend you for a job when your externship concludes.
- Stay motivated and keep busy. In a hospital, clinic or doctor’s office, there’s always some work that needs to be done—even if it’s undesirable “grunt” work. Do it as enthusiastically as you might take vitals or assist in a medical procedure. Even filing has its merits because you can learn a lot from medical records and insurance forms.
- Be a team player and offer to help when you can. That helps you prove your worth and lets you be seen as a good future employee.
- Practice your skills—clinical, administrative and soft skills such as customer service or communications.All come into play when you’re a medical assistant because you must be a versatile multi-tasker.
Externships offer a great way for companies in the recruiting process. It gives them a chance to “try out” a potential employee for little or no cost. If you do a good job in your externship, it helps them vet you and see what kind of worker you are. It’s a win-win for both of you.
Why Florida Academy?
If you’re looking for medical assisting programs in Fort Myers, Florida Academy offers convenient schedules with full-time or part-time day and evening classes. In as few as 40 weeks (nine months), you can gain the skills you need to work with doctors and nurses in these facilities and more:
- Private practice
- Outpatient clinics
- Nursing homes
- Military facilities
Your medical assisting training will prepare you for an in-demand career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be nearly 4 million new jobs in the healthcare industry by 2026. That’s about one-third of all jobs, and many will be filled by medical assistants who help doctors perform a number of clinical and administrative duties.
Jumpstart your career and enroll in Florida Academy’s Comprehensive Medical Assisting program. Call today!