How to Gain Experience During a Medical Assistant Training Program

Medical Assistant students get first-hand clinical training during “externships”

The first day of a job is nerve-wracking for anyone. You don’t know the names and faces, and everything about the environment is new. You may have studied what you need to know to do the job, read plenty of books, and received good advice. But you have not had these responsibilities in context of a real-life workplace. The learning curve can be even more intense in the medical profession, where patients are receiving care and everyone’s role is essential.

The American College for Medical Careers (ACMC) in Orlando, FL, offers a Professional Medical Assistant program that prepares students to become confident, skilled, effective medical professionals. But the training goes beyond traditional classroom education. Students engage in online learning and get hands-on training in the lab, and also get a chance to work in the field before they graduate.

This work experience is called an “externship,” where you take the skills you learned in your labs and refine them in a real medical setting. When you are equipped with this experience, it can make you more prepared for that first job. The externship also gives you the chance to explore different areas of interest and specialties.

Wondering about what is involved in an externship? Here are some questions medical assistant students commonly have:

How do you find an externship?

The staff at ACMC can help you find and set up an internship at a local or nearby medical facility. From there you will take responsibility for applying for it.

When should I apply for an externship?

You will take on an externship only once you have completed the rest of your coursework. This means you will have already spent time in the classroom studying a range of topics, such as medical terminology and anatomy.

Where should I apply for an externship?

Deciding where to apply is an important issue, and it’s smart to take time to consider what type of medical facility would be a good fit for you. There is a range of options for different kinds of medical environments that could be appropriate, such as:

  • a doctor’s office
  • a hospital
  • an outpatient care center

You should also take into account what kind of environment you’d like to work in after you complete the program.

What will I do on my externship?

Medical assistant students get a chance during this special time to interact directly with patients, do routine office work, and get exposed to some of the technical skills required for a job in that particular medical setting. Seeing everyday procedures the staff performs can help you to become more comfortable. You’ll see how the members of the team work together to care for and respond to patients’ needs and questions.

Just like any other job, as an extern you will be responsible for being punctual and maintaining attendance consistently during the hours you agree to.

With this experience under your belt, you’ll have an even clearer sense of how important and active a medical assistant job can be. If you do a good job, you can build strong connections with the staff at your externship, who could become references when you start applying for jobs. They also might consider you if a full-time job becomes available at that location.

If you found this information useful, we encourage you to learn more about what it takes to become a medical assistant.

Contact us for information about our medical training program at our Orlando campus. Your new career path might begin at ACMC.