- The Medical Assistant Role
- Duties of a Medical Assistant
- Education and Training for Medical Assistants
- Medical Assistant Certification
- Job Opportunities for Medical Assistants
- Salary and Benefits for Medical Assistants
- The Future of Medical Assisting
- 10 Reasons to Become a Medical Assistant
- 5 Reasons NOT to Become a Medical Assistant
- 5 Myths About Medical Assistants
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The Medical Assistant Role
A medical assistant is a multi-skilled professional who supports the work of physicians and other health care providers. Medical assistants may perform administrative or clinical tasks, or both. Clinical duties may include taking and recording medical histories, measuring patients’ vital signs, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physicians. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, billing patients, and coding patients’ medical records for insurance purposes. Medical assistants are found in all types of health care settings, including private physician practices, hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, and public health agencies.
Duties of a Medical Assistant
The duties of a medical assistant are to perform administrative and clinical tasks in order to keep the offices of physicians and other health practitioners running smoothly. Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative tasks, such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, and verifying insurance coverage. They also perform clinical tasks, such as taking medical histories, recording vital signs, and giving patients injections.
Education and Training for Medical Assistants
Medical assistants are healthcare professionals who perform a variety of tasks to support the work of physicians and other medical staff. Many medical assistants have completed an accredited medical assistant program, which typically takes one to two years to complete. Some medical assistants may also have completed a four-year degree program in another field before beginning their career in healthcare.
There are a number of accredited medical assistant programs available, both at the associate’s and bachelor’s level. These programs typically include coursework in biology, physiology, anatomy, Medical Terminology and other allied health subjects. Many programs also include clinical components, which give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with patients.
Medical Assistant Certification
Medical assistants are unlicensed personnel who perform tasks that do not require the medical expertise of a licensed physician.
The duties of a medical assistant may vary from office to office, but generally include taking medical histories, recording vital signs, drawing blood, administering injections, scheduling appointments and performing minor office surgery.
Job Opportunities for Medical Assistants
Medical assistants are in high demand and job opportunities are expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS attributes this growth to an aging population and advances in medical technology, which require more medical procedures and will thus result in an increasing demand for healthcare services.
Salary and Benefits for Medical Assistants
Medical assistants are in high demand due to the expanding healthcare industry. As a medical assistant, you can expect to earn a competitive salary and benefits package.
The average salary for a medical assistant is $16.00 per hour. Medical assistants can also expect to earn benefits including health insurance paid vacation days, and retirement savings plans.
The Future of Medical Assisting
Medical assisting is a profession that is expected to grow much faster than average in the coming years. This growth is due to several factors, including an aging population that will need more medical care and an increasing emphasis on preventive care and healthy living. As a result, medical assistants will be in high demand.
Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other health care professionals. They are often the first point of contact for patients and play a vital role in the smooth running of a medical practice.
The future of medical assisting is bright, and there are many opportunities for those who enter this field. With the right training and experience, medical assistants can find positions in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
10 Reasons to Become a Medical Assistant
Working as a medical assistant is a highly rewarding career choice. If you are considering a career in healthcare, here are 10 reasons why you should become a medical assistant:
1. You can make a difference in people’s lives.
2. You will have job security.
3. You can work in a variety of settings.
4. You can specialize in a particular area of medicine.
5. You will have the opportunity to learn new skills.
6. You can advance your career.
7. You will earn a good salary.
8. You will have good benefits.
9. You will work with a team of professionals.
10.You can make a difference in the healthcare system.
5 Reasons NOT to Become a Medical Assistant
The medical assisting field is growing rapidly, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 23% increase in jobs from 2016 to 2026.1 This expansion is expected to add about 175,900 new medical assistant positions to the already existing 729,100 MA jobs in the United States 2 The MA profession offers many opportunities for career advancement and good pay, making it an attractive option for those exploring allied health careers.
However, the medical assistant profession is not for everyone. Below are five reasons you might want to consider another allied health career:
Reason #1: You Don’t Like Working with People
MAs work closely with patients and must be able to effectively communicate with them. If you don’t enjoy working with people or find it difficult to build rapport, you might want to consider a different allied health career.
Reason #2: You Don’t Like Change
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and MAs must be adaptable to change. If you prefer routine and don’t do well with change, becoming a medical assistant may not be the best fit for you.
Reason #3: You Don’t Like Blood or Other Bodily Fluids
MAs are exposed to blood and other bodily fluids on a regular basis. If the sight of blood or other fluids makes you queasy, you may want to consider another allied health profession.
Reason #4: You Can’t Handle Stress Well
MAs work in fast-paced environments and are often required to multitask. If you don’t handle stress well or have difficulty completing tasks quickly, a career as a medical assistant may not be right for you. Being an MA can be extremely rewarding, but it’s important to make sure it’s the right fit for you before embarking on your journey toward becoming one.
5 Myths About Medical Assistants
Despite the growth of the medical assisting profession, there are still many misconceptions about what medical assistants do. If you’re considering a career in medical assisting, it’s important to separate fact from fiction.
1. Medical assistants only do clerical work.
While medical assistants do perform many clerical duties, they also provide clinical support to patients and physicians. Medical assistants may take patients’ vital signs, prepare them for exams, and assist with procedures.
2. You don’t need any formal training to be a medical assistant.
While you can become a medical assistant without completing an accredited program, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed formal training. Medical assisting programs typically last one year and include both classroom and clinical components.
3. Medical assistants only work in doctor’s offices.
Medical assistants can work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and specialty practices. Many medical assistants also work in outpatient care centers and nursing homes
4. Medical assistants only provide support to doctors and nurses.
While medical assistants do provide support to physicians and nurses, they also play an important role in patient care. Medical assistants often serve as the first point of contact for patients, and they are responsible for providing them with information about their health condition and treatment options. In addition, medical assistants may conduct patient education programs or help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension.
5. Being a medical assistant is a dead-end job with no opportunity for advancement.