Entering the healthcare field can offer you a tremendous amount of personal and professional benefits. Few other careers can provide the same kind of excellent salary, good benefits, solid job stability, and the chance to know that you’re helping others. As a result, it makes sense that more people than ever are considering entering the field. Doing so as a reproductive health assistant may be the right career move, especially if it’s something you’re interested in.
The job is unlike nursing and some other medically related positions, but still has all the hallmarks of a job in the health field. If you want to know more about what a reproductive health assistant does, what they earn, and how to become one, keep reading.
What Is a Reproductive Health Assistant?
A reproductive health assistant works in a health facility that focuses on reproductive health. They assist doctors and nurses in the facility, and work with patients as well. It’s an entry level position and one that allows you to find employment relatively quickly and begin helping others. Common job duties will include the following:
- Conduct basic tests such as pregnancy, HIV, or STD tests
- Deliver basic education and educational materials to patients concerning reproductive health
- Handle receptionist duties such as answering phones, booking appointments, and handling referrals
- Answer questions about birth control
- Answer questions about preventative health care and about pregnancy in general
- Help client understand and complete all forms
- Take vital signs and help run basic lab tests
- Collect specimens from patients for testing
- Communicate with staff and supervisors
- Help explain treatment procedures to patients
- Assist doctors during exams or procedures as needed
In short, this position is an excellent way to gain clinical experience that can lead to further career options. It is a job frequently held by those who are planning on continuing their medical education, but on its own it still offers some excellent benefits and pay that make it worth considering as a career in and of itself.
There are some personal traits and characteristics that can help you excel in the position. Education and experience will help you master the job, but having strength in the following areas will help you in a significant way.
- Good Organization – Since the job involves taking appointments, setting up referrals, and filing medical histories, it’s important to have strong organizational skills.
- Good Communication – Your job will put you in direct contact with patients and require that you help them understand their options. As such, strong communication skills are needed for those entering the field.
- Compassion – Those visiting a Planned Parenthood facility may be very stressed and even depressed. It’s important that you have compassion for their situation, and that you aren’t judgmental.
Nature of the Work
The job is made up of light medical related duties combined with front office responsibilities. The course of a day may involve everything from scheduling appointments to assisting in an examination to meeting with clients and providing education on how to use birth control. Different facilities will expect different things of their reproductive health assistants, and as such your job duties may vary depending upon where you work.
Usually, employment is found in Planned Parenthood facilities, abortion clinics, midwife or OB/GYN facilities, hospitals, and private physician practices. Positions are available throughout the country, and numerous opportunities exist.
Education and Training
The specific requirements may vary from employer to employer, but in general a reproductive health assistant position is an entry level position designed to help you gain experience in the field before moving on to a more specialized role. As such, requirements are often less strict and demanding than other jobs in the health field. Requirements are usually nothing more than holding a bachelor’s degree in the health field, and you’ll need to have experience in medical assistant roles. A degree focusing on reproductive health will be given a preference, but isn’t required in most cases.
Wages vary, but are usually around $15 to $18 per hour depending on employer. As your skills advance and you earn additional degrees, moving from the assistant position into a more advanced role will bring higher pay and more opportunities. Additionally, most employers now offer extra pay to those with bilingual capabilities.