How to Become a Traveling Medical Assistant
Do you have a passion for both healthcare and travel? If so, a career as a traveling medical assistant may be the perfect fit for you. Traveling medical assistants have the opportunity to work in various healthcare settings across different locations, allowing them to explore new places while helping those in need. If you are interested in pursuing this exciting career path, here is a guide on how to become a traveling medical assistant.
1. Obtain the necessary education: To become a medical assistant, you will need to complete a postsecondary education program. These programs are typically offered by vocational schools, community colleges, or technical institutes and can usually be completed in one to two years. Make sure to choose a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
2. Earn your certification: While certification is not always required to work as a medical assistant, it can enhance your job prospects and demonstrate your competence in the field. The two main certifications for medical assistants are the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) offered by American Medical Technologists (AMT). To earn these certifications, you will need to pass an exam.
3. Gain experience: Before embarking on a career as a traveling medical assistant, it is beneficial to gain some experience in a traditional healthcare setting. This will give you the opportunity to build your skills and knowledge in a stable environment before transitioning to a more dynamic and mobile role.
4. Research travel agencies: There are several travel agencies that specialize in placing medical professionals in temporary positions across the country. Research and find reputable agencies that have a track record of providing quality assignments and support for their employees.
5. Prepare your resume: Tailor your resume to highlight your medical assistant skills and experience. Include any relevant certifications, clinical experience, and any additional skills that may be beneficial for a traveling medical assistant role, such as adaptability and cultural sensitivity.
6. Apply for positions: Once you have identified travel agencies that interest you, submit your application and resume. Be prepared to provide references and undergo background checks and drug screenings.
7. Interview: If your application is successful, you will be invited for an interview. Prepare for the interview by researching common questions asked during medical assistant interviews and practice your responses. Highlight your flexibility, ability to work independently, and your passion for travel.
8. Complete necessary paperwork: If you are offered a position as a traveling medical assistant, you will need to complete paperwork, such as contracts and agreements, before starting your assignments. Make sure to read and understand all the terms and conditions before signing any documents.
9. Pack your essentials: As a traveling medical assistant, you will need to be prepared to relocate frequently. Make sure to pack essentials such as appropriate work attire, medical supplies, and personal items that will help you feel comfortable and settled in your temporary assignments.
10. Adapt to new environments: Each assignment as a traveling medical assistant will be unique, requiring you to adapt to new healthcare settings, policies, and procedures. Be open-minded and eager to learn from each experience.
11. Stay organized: Traveling for work can be challenging, but staying organized is essential. Keep track of your assignments, travel arrangements, and any necessary paperwork to ensure a smooth transition between locations.
12. Embrace networking: Networking is crucial in the healthcare industry, both for professional development and future job opportunities. Connect with other medical professionals during your assignments and stay in touch to expand your network.
13. Enjoy the journey: Being a traveling medical assistant offers a unique opportunity to explore different places while making a difference in people’s lives. Embrace the adventure, learn from each experience, and enjoy the journey.
Common Questions and Answers:
1. How much do traveling medical assistants earn? The salary of a traveling medical assistant can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the agency you work with. On average, traveling medical assistants can earn between $15 to $25 per hour.
2. Do I need a driver’s license to become a traveling medical assistant? While having a driver’s license can be beneficial, it is not always required. Some assignments may require you to travel by public transportation or provide transportation options for you.
3. Will I have healthcare benefits as a traveling medical assistant? Many travel agencies offer healthcare benefits to their employees. However, it is important to clarify this during the application process and review the terms of the benefits package.
4. Can I choose my assignments as a traveling medical assistant? Travel agencies typically work with you to find assignments that align with your preferences and skills. However, it is important to be flexible and open to new opportunities.
5. Will I have a stable schedule as a traveling medical assistant? Traveling medical assistants often have a more flexible schedule compared to those in traditional healthcare roles. However, this flexibility may also mean that you need to be available to work on short notice.
6. Will I have the opportunity to extend my assignments? Depending on the availability and demand for medical assistants in a particular location, you may have the opportunity to extend your assignments if desired.
7. Can I bring my family or pets with me on assignments? Some travel agencies may allow you to bring your family or pets with you on assignments, while others may have specific policies regarding this. It is important to discuss this with the agency before accepting an assignment.
8. Do I need to obtain a new license for each state I work in? The requirements for medical assistant licensing vary by state. Some states may require you to obtain a new license, while others may have reciprocity agreements that allow you to practice with your current license.
9. Will I have a dedicated recruiter or point of contact? Most travel agencies assign a dedicated recruiter or point of contact to assist you throughout your assignments. They will be your main source of support and guidance.
10. What expenses are covered by the travel agency? Travel agencies typically cover expenses such as housing, transportation, and sometimes even meal allowances. It is important to clarify what expenses are covered before accepting an assignment.
11. How long do assignments typically last? Assignments can vary in length, ranging from a few weeks to several months. Some assignments may also offer the opportunity for extensions.
12. Can I choose the type of healthcare facility I want to work in? Travel agencies often have a range of healthcare facilities available, including hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. You can discuss your preferences with your recruiter and express your interest in specific types of facilities.
13. Can I take time off between assignments? Yes, you can take time off between assignments if desired. However, it is important to communicate your availability and preferences to your recruiter to ensure a smooth transition between assignments.
In conclusion, becoming a traveling medical assistant is an exciting career path that combines the love for healthcare and travel. By obtaining the necessary education, gaining experience, and partnering with reputable travel agencies, you can embark on a rewarding journey of exploring new places while making a difference in the lives of patients.