Your kids are your pride and joy. For years you’ve prepared nutritious meals, kissed scraped knees and cheered them at soccer games. But life doesn’t stop when you have kids, as you know all too well.
Balancing a career and a family can be tough. You want to show your kids that they can do anything by succeeding in your own career. As you’ve probably figured out by now, healthcare is a great field for moms. It’s an area that’s growing and you’ll be able to use some skills you already have.
One career where skills overlap is medical assisting. Sure, you might be missing hard skills like administering injections, understanding phlebotomy or managing electronic medical records, but you can learn all of those with hands-on classes.
So, what qualities of a medical assistant do you already have? We used real-time market intelligence from BurningGlass.com to identify the skills that overlap. While this list contains many of the top skills, we left out some of the skills we identified in our research. After all, “computer skills” and “writing” are kind of no-brainers for medical assistants and moms!
1. Communication skills
Why this skill matters: Communications skills are crucial for medical assistants. Whether it’s talking to doctors, patients or colleagues, their job involves communication. Some key medical assisting tasks where communication is important include helping with patient exams, scheduling patient exams and giving injections as directed by the doctor, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
How parenting helps: You know that if you don’t speak clearly your son will think he really can have candy before dinner or your daughter will decide she’s getting that puppy after all. If you correct their misconceptions it won’t be pretty, so you make sure they get it the first time. And of course, most adults had trouble understanding your kids when they were little, but you did just fine. Communication involves talking and listening—skills you’ve got down pat.
2. Organizational skills
Why this skill matters: Medical assistants have a lot to keep track of. Whether it’s the ability to find that record the doctor needs RIGHT NOW, or knowing which patient is coming through the door next, organization is of the utmost importance.
How parenting helps: You understand the importance of everything having a place and actually being in that place the next time it’s needed, even if your kid doesn’t quite grasp that concept yet. Quick! Where’s your daughter’s lunch bag? Her backpack? Tomorrow’s homework? Even if you don’t know exactly where those things are, chances are you can find them with ease—just like you do every morning. Organizing started early in the process and has continued ever since. Remember buying all the things your baby would need and placing them in the perfect spots in the nursery?
3. Customer service
Why this skill matters: Medical assistants spend a lot of time with patients, whether it’s in the exam room, at the front desk or on the telephone. Sometimes it’s up to them to tell the patient an appointment needs to be rescheduled or the doctor’s out of the office on the day they want to come in. No matter how irate a patient gets they need to stay calm and helpful—that’s their job. Medical assistants can make a big impression on patients, good or bad, so good customer service skills are a must.
How parenting helps: You know it’s better to negotiate with your son than let him walk barefoot outside in the snow, and you can make him understand why without simply forcing the boots on his tiny feet. Put simply, you want to keep your kid happy. That doesn’t necessarily mean spoiling them, of course, but it does mean listening to them and figuring out a way to provide for their wants. It also means patience—sometimes lots of patience.
4. Problem solving
Why this skill matters: As with any job, things aren’t always clear-cut as a medical assistant. What exactly did that doctor want you to do? How can you help your frazzled co-worker? And where did that important file go? Problem solving is a must-have skill to get through each day.
How parenting helps: Coincidentally, problem solving is pretty important as a parent, too. You never know what’s going to come up with kids. And with them, it’s not just your problems, but theirs, too. Even though you taught them their own problem solving strategies, often they still need you to help out. For example, when your daughter hit junior high you knew she’d run into issues with catty girls and boys acting bizarrely—but you got her though that time period with ease.
Why this skill matters: Multitasking is a big one. Medical assistants are expected to wear many hats, no matter if their job is in a large hospital or a small doctor’s office. Common tasks include patient care, vital signs measurement and medical assistance—sometimes all at the same time!
How parenting helps: Multitasking isn’t necessarily something everyone can do. Often, doing multiple tasks at the same time can be stressful. But for parents multitasking is an everyday activity. Can you make dinner while helping one child with homework and watching the other outside kicking a soccer ball? Of course you can. Whether you have one child or four, you know all about multitasking.
What’s the next step?
You don’t have as far to go to learn medical assisting skills as you thought, do you? As you’ve figured out by now, you already have so many qualities of a medical assistant as a mom! You can multitask like a pro and your communication skills are top-notch. Medical assisting will almost be second nature to you—once you learn the career-specific skills you need, of course!
So now what? It’s time for the next step. Learn more about earning your medical assisting degree so you can utilize your parenting skills and have a fulfilling career that will help you take care of your family.