Yes! If your goal is to become an office manager, you will be delighted to know that educators in the medical field list office manager as the most common career advancement seen among medical assistants.
Because medical assistants already have hands-on experience with doctors, patients, equipment, and office procedures, the transition to healthcare office manager is often a smooth one.
If your goal is to become an office manager, you are likely exploring some of the various ways to get your foot in the door at local medical practices. Below is a look at the time and skills required to become an office manager and how you can make the transition from medical assistant to office manager.
Can Medical Assistants Do Other Jobs?
Before diving into the specifics of becoming an office manager, it is helpful to review what other jobs a medical assistant apply for. Depending on your medical assistant career goals and objectives, you could qualify for a wide variety of positions. Some alternative jobs for medical assistants to consider include the following:
- A variety of home healthcare positions
- Administrative assistant for a medical sales company
- Natural birth assistant
- Cardiovascular medical assistant
- Medical claims processor for insurance companies
- Diagnostic specimen processor
- Medical assistant trainer or instructor
If you are a specialty certified medical assistant, you can explore other jobs within that specialty. For instance, if you are a pediatric medical assistant, you could be an intake specialist at a child behavioral health center or a phlebotomist at a children’s hospital. An oncology medical assistant, on the other hand, could secure a position processing samples and specimens for an oncology laboratory.
How Long To Become Office Manager?
“At smaller medical offices, such as a single doctor’s office, the requirements for becoming a medical office manager are typically less stringent, and you can often begin with on-the-job training.” – Learn.org
If you are wondering how to become a medical practice manager, you need to be prepared to devote at least several months of time to education and hands-on training experience. The exact length of time it will take to become an office manager will depend on three key factors:
- The office manager education requirements set by the practice administrator
- The job candidate’s past employment experience
- The size and complexity of the practice
Generally speaking, you can expect to spend more time preparing for a career as the manager of a large medical practice than you would for a smaller one. While smaller practices may only require a few months of experience and modest education or training, larger healthcare facilities may require several years of experience and a 4-year degree in healthcare administration. Because medical assistants are cross-trained to perform many duties, the transition to office manager is often a smooth one.
What Are Office Management Skills?
“The office manager…is the person who needs to wear many hats: human resource manager, accounts payable, payroll, billing and electronic medical records manager, facility manager, compliance manager, marketer and customer service support person.” – Mary Pat Whaley, Founder and President of Manage My Practice
Skill development is one of the most important parts of learning how to become a medical practice manager. To become an office manager, you need to possess leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, and strong organizational skills. In addition to these key skills, today’s top office managers possess the following:
- Time management skills
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Experience with documentation and coding
- The ability to delegate tasks
- Budget and finance skills
Finally, medical office managers are often entrusted with ordering equipment, supplies, and office furnishings. They therefore must know how to negotiate pricing while building strong relationships with key vendors and suppliers.
Can Medical Assistants Move Up?
“Medical assistants may be able to advance to office manager. They may qualify for a variety of administrative support occupations, or may teach medical assisting. Some, with additional education, enter other health occupations, such as nursing and medical technology.” – American Association of Medical Assistants
Many people choose to work as a medical assistant until they retire. But others have aspirations of advancing in their careers or even embarking upon a new career path. With the right continuing education after becoming a medical assistant, you can prime yourself for entry into a variety of new careers. Here are some of the most common types of careers that medical assistants choose to pursue:
- Medical or Health Services Administrator
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Surgical Technician
Determining what is the next step after becoming a medical assistant will depend on your ultimate career goals. For instance, if your dream is to become a pediatric nurse practitioner, then you will need to obtain a BSN followed by a Master’s program in Nursing or a Doctoral program in Nursing.
Making the Transition to Office Manager
As outlined above, a medical assistant can become an office manager. In fact, making the transition to an office manager is one of the most popular ways for medical assistants to advance their careers. With the right training, education, and experience, you can position yourself for a rewarding career running and managing a medical office.
The single best way to make the transition to medical office manager is to enroll in a medical office specialist training program. A medical assistant bridge program will arm you with the education and hands-on learning experiences that will prepare you to become a top office manager.
Southern Careers Institute (SCI) offers a hands-on Medical Office Specialist program that provides the training needed to run a medical office at an urgent care clinic, physician’s office, school, or nursing home.
To discover how you can build upon your medical assistant skills, we invite you to contact us to request information today to explore our programs and certifications. We look forward to helping you realize your passion for change and take the first step toward an exciting career as a medical office manager.
Blog Disclaimer: Information stated in this blog is for general information purposes only. SCITexas.edu not assume or guarantee income earning potential or salary expectations based on the programs offered at Southern Careers Institute.
This article was published on: 02/16/20 1:30 PM
* SCI does not guarantee employment or a starting salary upon graduation, completion, or withdrawal from SCI. As an accredited post-secondary institution, SCI has various federal financial assistance programs available for students who qualify and are enrolled in SCI programs. This does not apply to seminar students.
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