What Every Medical Assisting Student Should Know About Externships

Many Medical Assistant Schools offer an “externship” or “internship” as part of their program. A medical assisting externship is an opportunity for students to temporarily work in a healthcare facility alongside medical professionals.

Externships are typically unpaid, but it provides students with hands-on training and real world experience within a medical facility. Typical externships can last six to twelve weeks, depending on the arrangement the Medical Assistant School has with the employer. The length of the externship might also depend on state regulations for externships through career schools.

Externships Provide Excellent Medical Assisting Experience

One of the best reasons to join a Medical Assistant School that offers externships is because of the real-world work experience you’ll gain. No doubt, you’ll probably get a lot of hands-on experience in the classroom, but nothing compares to actually performing those skills on the job as a medical assistant.

In class, you’ll practice your medical assisting skills on other students, so there’s a lot less pressure to get everything perfect. But the externships will help boost your confidence as you practice those same skills with real patients (under the supervision of a medical professional). And you just can’t get that type of experience in a classroom.

Externships Can Lead To Jobs Offers Or Job Recommendations

Another benefit of externships is that the medical professional you work with can be your ally when you seek employment. Whether you receive a job offer at the externship site, or whether those medical professionals write you a letter of recommendation, the externship experience is extremely valuable. There’s no other way to gain real experience and a job recommendation in such a short time-frame.

Externships Usually Occur At End Of Medical Assistant Program

Most Medical Assistant Schools offer externships to students toward the end of their program. Externships are best experienced at the end of a program so that students can test the skills they learned in class. To sum, externships will provide you with invaluable experience and training you can’t receive anywhere else. Externships will also provide job recommendations or even a job offer if you do a good job

Celeste Botonakis

On the Nursing Assistant Guides blog, certified medical assistant Celeste Botonakis explores the daily life of a CMA. She'll keep you up-to-date with the latest on what’s happening in the field, and provides tips for those who are interested in becoming a medical or nursing assistant. Celeste has served in the medical field for over six years, and is passionate about helping people. She currently works at CSR Primary Care in Skokie, Illinois. Click here to learn more about Celeste Botonakis and NursingAssistantGuides.com.