Chapter 52: What Medical Assistants Need to Know
- What medical assistants need to know about the job
- The duties of a medical assistant
- The skills needed to be a medical assistant
- The training and education required to be a medical assistant
- The certification and licensure needed to be a medical assistant
- The salary and job outlook for medical assistants
- The benefits of being a medical assistant
- The drawbacks of being a medical assistant
- 10 things every medical assistant should know
- 5 career paths for medical assistants
Get an overview of what Medical assistants need to know in Chapter 52 of our online medical assisting course.
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What medical assistants need to know about the job
Medical assistants are an important part of the healthcare team. They provide administrative and clinical support to doctors and other medical staff.
The duties of a medical assistant vary depending on the location and type of practice. In a small office, a medical assistant might be responsible for greeting patients, scheduling appointments, answering phones, and filing insurance forms. In a larger office or clinic, medical assistants might also take X-rays, assist with surgeries, or give vaccinations.
Most medical assistants have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some states require medical assistants to be certified or registered. Certification programs for medical assistants typically last about 1 year and include courses in anatomy, physiology, Medical Terminology and office procedures.
In addition to formal education and training, employers also look for candidates who have good communication skills and are able to work well under pressure. Medical assistants must be able to keep confidential patient information private and follow strict office procedures.
The duties of a medical assistant
Medical assistants are key members of the healthcare team. They work closely with physicians and other medical staff to provide patient care and support. There are many different types of medical assistants, each with their own set of duties and responsibilities.
The duties of a medical assistant can vary depending on their specific job title and the needs of their employer. However, there are some common duties that all medical assistants perform. These include:
– greeting patients and collecting patient information
– taking medical histories
– recording vital signs
– scheduling appointments
– preparing patients for examinations
– assisting with diagnostic procedures
– providing patient education
– maintaining medical records
The skills needed to be a medical assistant
In order to be a medical assistant, you will need to have the following skills:
-Basic computer skills: You will need to be able to operate a computer in order to do things such as schedule appointments and input patient information.
-Communication skills: You will need to be able to communicate effectively with patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team.
-Organizational skills: You will need to be able to keep track of multiple tasks and priorities at the same time.
-People skills: You will need to be able to work well with others and provide exceptional customer service.
The training and education required to be a medical assistant
The training and education required to be a medical assistant varies by state. In some states, medical assistants are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent, while in others they may need to complete an accredited training program. Many community colleges offer medical assistant programs that can be completed in less than two years.
In addition to formal education, medical assistants must also complete a certification process. The most common certification for medical assistants is offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). To earn certification from the AAMA, candidates must pass a written exam as well as a skills assessment.
Once certified, medical assistants must keep their knowledge and skills up to date by completing continuing education courses on a regular basis.
The certification and licensure needed to be a medical assistant
Medical Assistants (MAs) are unlicensed personnel who perform routine technical and clerical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. The majority of MAs work in physicians’ offices, usually under the supervision of a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or physician. Duties vary with the type, size, and location of the practice, but typically include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, assisting with patient examinations, performing routine laboratory tests and procedures, scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, billing patients, and handling medical records
MAs must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Although formal education is not required for entry into this occupation, many programs offer courses that lead to a certificate or diploma in medical assisting. These programs typically last 1 year and are offered by community colleges, technical institutes, and vocational schools. Some MAs complete on-the-job training lasting several months to 1 year. Training generally includes both classroom instruction and supervised hands-on experience in a medical office or clinic.
Prospective MAs should possess good communication skills; be detail oriented; have strong organizational abilities; and be able to work well under pressure. In addition, they should be able to take direction well and work well as part of a team.
The salary and job outlook for medical assistants
Medical assistants are in high demand and the job outlook is excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for medical assistants is $33,610 per year. The top 10% of earners make over $48,720 per year, and the bottom 10% make under $23,760 per year.
The benefits of being a medical assistant
Medical assistants play a vital role in the healthcare industry, providing support to doctors and other medical staff. As a medical assistant, you will enjoy many benefits, including the following:
• Job stability – The healthcare industry is growing at a rapid pace, and medical assistants are in high demand. This means that you can enjoy job stability and long-term career prospects.
• Variety – Medical assistants perform a variety of tasks, from administrative duties to patient care. This means that you will never be bored at work!
• Flexibility – Many medical assistants work part-time or full-time, making it easy to find a schedule that works for you.
• Good pay – Medical assistants earn a good wage, with the average salary being $33,610 per year.
The drawbacks of being a medical assistant
Even though being a medical assistant has many benefits, there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of before making the decision to enter this career. One of the main drawbacks is the low pay. Medical assistants make an average salary of $30,590 per year, which is much lower than other health care professions. Therefore, if you are looking to make a lot of money, medical assisting may not be the right career for you. Another potential drawback is the long hours. Medical assistants often work more than 40 hours per week and may have to work evenings and weekends. If you are not able to work long hours or odd shifts, medical assisting may not be the right career for you. Finally, another potential drawback of being a medical assistant is that the job can be very stressful. Medical assistants have a lot of responsibility and often have to deal with sick patients and their families. If you do not handle stress well, medical assisting may not be the right career for you.
10 things every medical assistant should know
In order to be a medical assistant, you need to have a certain amount of knowledge about the medical field. Here are 10 things every medical assistant should know:
1. Anatomy and Physiology
2. Medical Terminology
3. Patient Rights
4. The HIPAA Privacy Rule
5. Infection Control Procedures
6. First Aid
7. Medical Emergencies
8. Basic Life Support
9. Universal Precautions
10. Bloodborne Pathogens
5 career paths for medical assistants
While most medical assistants perform generalist duties, some may choose to specialize in a particular area of medical assisting. The following are five possible career paths for medical assistants:
1. Clinical medical assistant: A clinical medical assistant is responsible for performing general clinical duties such as taking patient histories and administering basic tests.
2. Laboratory medical assistant: A laboratory medical assistant works in a hospital or outpatient laboratory, performing diagnostic tests and assisting with patient care.
3. Administrative medical assistant: An administrative medical assistant handles office duties such as scheduling appointments, billing, and insurance claims processing.
4. Medical records specialist: A medical records specialist helps to organize and maintain patient records.
5. Health information technician: A health information technician manages electronic health records and ensures that they are accurate and up-to-date.