Medical Assistant position has become a key position in the physician’s office and many hospitals have started using medical assistants for taking care of the administrative and patient care services. Medical Assistants are in high demand and the United States Department of Labor has projected that healthcare industries would require about 690,000 medical assistants in the next 8 years. As the entry requirements to become a medical assistant is relatively easy, it has become one of the most preferred professions for many students. If you are looking to become a medical assistant, the chance of getting a job is more than excellent.
Medical Assistant Overview:
Medical Assistants generally perform administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, community services and outpatient surgery centers. They generally work in a clean environment and interact with people constantly. Most medical assistant jobs are full-time 40 hours a week job, but there are also part time medical assistant jobs available. If you are interested in performing administrative tasks, you can become an administrative medical assistant. If your interests are more towards clinical services like recording the vital signs of patients, preparing the patients for examinations, and assisting the physicians during examinations, you can be a Clinical Medical Assistant. There are also more specialized Medical Assistants like Ophthalmic Medical Assistants, Optometric Assistants, and Podiatric Medical Assistants.
Job Description and Responsibilities of a Medical Assistant:
The exact job description of the medical assistants varies based on the size of the health center where they work. In small health centers, the medical assistants perform wide variety of tasks from office administrative work to direct patient care tasks, reporting to office manager, physician or the health practitioner. But in large health centers or hospitals, they work on a specific department reporting to their department administrator or supervisor.
Patient care duties performed by medical assistants:
– Record Patient’s medical history, vital signs and examination results
– Prepare the examination room for physician’s examination and keeping the environment clean and well lighted
– Clean and sterilize the instruments used during examination
– Dispose the instruments after their use
– Explain the physician’s instruction on diet, prescription, and medication to patients
– Collect the lab specimens like blood, urine and tissue
Administrative duties performed by medical assistants:
– Attending calls and scheduling appointments
– Maintaining medical records
– Billing and coding the information for insurance purposes
Why should you become a Medical Assistant?
High Demand: Medical assistants are of high demand and the United States department of labor has projected that 690,000 medical assistants are required till 2020 – a 35% increased growth. This is significantly a huge growth compared to any other job in the United States.
Easy Entry level: Medical Assistant jobs are relatively easy to get. Due to the competition, many employers prefer to recruit certified medical assistants though it is not a mandatory requirement. It is good to be a certified medical assistant, so that you can distinguish yourself from the entry level assistants.
Job Security: Medical Assistant job is stable as sick people and hospitals are going to be there always – no matter how the economy is.
Job Satisfaction: If you like to interact with people and believe you get job satisfaction by helping others, medical assistant is the right job for you.
Respectable Job: Doctors, researchers and medical assistants are always respected by people due to their job nature.
Career Growth: Unlike other jobs, medical assistants can be promoted to higher positions by undertaking trainings and certifications.
Salary of a Medical Assistant:
As with any other field the medical assistant salary varies based on their experience, skill level and location. There are more than half a million medical assistants employed in the United States and the salary that they receive vary anywhere from $20,810 to $40,190. The national mean salary of medical assistants is $29,760 and the highest salary of $37,750 is paid in Alaska. The mean salary paid in District of Columbia is $36,790 and the salary in Massachusetts is $35,010. Massachusetts employs one of the highest medical assistants in the country. If you aim to receive a high salary, be sure to increase your skills by becoming a certified medical assistant from American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or Association of Medical Technologists (AMT).
Other Job Titles used for Medical Assistants:
Medical Assistant, Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Medical Office Assistant, Clinical Assistant