- Why pursue a career as a medical assistant?
- What is the job outlook for medical assistants?
- What are the duties of a medical assistant?
- What are the educational requirements for medical assistants?
- What are the certification requirements for medical assistants?
- What are the skills required for medical assistants?
- What are the salary expectations for medical assistants?
- What are the job opportunities for medical assistants?
- What are the career paths for medical assistants?
- What is the future of medical assistants?
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Why pursue a career as a medical assistant?
A medical assistant is a multi-skilled health professional that supports the work of physicians and other health professionals, usually in a clinic setting. Medical assistants perform many tasks, including taking and recording medical histories, measuring patients’ vital signs, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, administering medications and injections, scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, billing, and coding for insurance purposes.
Medical assistants usually work in physician’s offices, hospitals, clinics or other healthcare facilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of Medical Assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2024. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to spur demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians working in group practices. As a result, physicians will hire more medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties so that they can see more patients. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for medical assistants was $31,540 in May 2016.
There are many reasons why you should pursue a career as a medical assistant. Below are just a few:
-Job Satisfaction: According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), over 90% of respondents said they were satisfied with their jobs. This is likely due to the variety of tasks medical assistants perform on a daily basis as well as the opportunity to help others.
-Growth Potential: As mentioned above, the job growth for medical assistants is much faster than average. In fact, according to the BLS, employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 23% from 2014 to 2024.
-Flexible Schedule: Many medical assistants have flexible schedules which allow them to have a good work/life balance
What is the job outlook for medical assistants?
Medical assisting is one of the nation’s fastest-growing occupations, with an estimated 190,600 new jobs expected to open up by 2026.* PBS Hawaii recently spoke with Hilo Medical Center’s chief of human resources, Lola Irvin, about the job outlook for medical assistants in Hilo and across the state.
Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals specifically trained to work in outpatient settings such as medical offices and clinics. They perform both clinical and administrative duties, including taking and recording medical histories and vital signs, scheduling appointments, compiling and maintaining medical records billing and coding insurance forms, and administering medications.
In Hawaii, the median hourly wage for medical assistants is $19.14.* And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026 — much faster than the average for all occupations.
The BLS cites several reasons for this rapid growth: an aging population (which will require more medical services), expansions in preventive care and outpatient services (such as same-day surgery), and increases in chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes (which also require more frequent doctor visits).
If you’re considering a career in healthcare,medical assisting is a great choice — especially if you live in Hawaii. In fact, Hilo Medical Center is currently hiring medical assistants!
What are the duties of a medical assistant?
The duties of a medical assistant are mainly administrative and clinical. They work in outpatient care centers, physician offices, and other healthcare facilities. Their duties vary from place to place, but generally include taking and recording medical histories, measuring patients’ vital signs, preparing patients for examination, helping during the exam itself, scheduling appointments, handling correspondence, handling billing and insurance claims, and coding Medical records
What are the educational requirements for medical assistants?
There are a few different ways that you can become a medical assistant. One way is to complete a postsecondary education program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Alternatively, you could complete an apprenticeship or on-the-job training program.
Most medical assistants have completed at least a one-year postsecondary education program. These programs typically award a certificate, diploma, or associate degree. Some schools offer medical assistant programs that can be completed in as little as eight weeks, but most programs take at least 12 months to complete.
What are the certification requirements for medical assistants?
In order to become a certified medical assistant, you must complete an accredited medical assisting program and pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Once you have achieved certification, you must re-certify every 60 months to maintain your credential. To re-certify, you must either retake the CMA exam or earn 60 recertification points through continuing education and professional activities.
What are the skills required for medical assistants?
Medical assistants perform various duties to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. They typically take medical histories, help patients understand their health problems, provide instruction on medical procedures, prepare patients for examination, assist with minor office surgery, collect and prepare laboratory specimens, perform basic laboratory tests, expose and develop diagnostic X-rays , take electrocardiograms and change dressings.
In addition, medical assistants keep records, schedule appointments, answer telephones, billing and coding insurance forms. Many medical assistants also handle administrative duties such as handling correspondence, arranging hospital admissions and laboratory services, handling insurance claims forms and keeping financial records. Some states allow medical assistants to give injections after completing a training program approved by the state.
Most of the skills required for successful performance as a medical assistant are acquired through on-the-job training or short-term coursework . However, some formal training in medical assisting is available from community colleges , technical institutes , universities , vocational schools and from the armed forces . Although not required for employment in many cases , certification may improve employment opportunities .
What are the salary expectations for medical assistants?
Medical assistants are in high demand across the country, and the average salary for a medical assistant is $32,000 per year. However, salaries can vary depending on experience, location, and other factors. In Hilo, Hawaii, the average salary for a medical assistant is $37,000 per year.
What are the job opportunities for medical assistants?
The roles of medical assistants are growing as the healthcare industry expands. They can find work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices. With the right training, they can also specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as optometry or podiatry.
In order to become a medical assistant, one must complete an accredited program and pass a certified exam. The length of time it takes to complete a medical assistant program can vary, but most programs can be completed in about two years.
What are the career paths for medical assistants?
There are many career paths for medical assistants. Some medical assistants work in doctors’ offices, while others work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Some medical assistants may also work as part-time or full-time employees in a clinic.
What is the future of medical assistants?
There is no one answer to this question as the future of medical assistants depends on many factors, including the needs of the healthcare industry, changes in technology, and the preferences of individual patients. However, we can examine some trends that may shape the future of medical assistants.
One trend that is likely to continue is the increasing integration of medical assistants into primary care teams. This model of care delivery is becoming more popular as it has been shown to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction while also reducing costs. In this model, medical assistants play a key role in providing direct patient care and supporting the work of physicians and other health professionals.
Another trend that is likely to impact medical assistants is the increasing use of technology in healthcare. Medical assistants will need to be comfortable using electronic health records, scheduling software, and other applications. They may also be responsible for providing patients with instructions on using new digital tools for their health.
As the healthcare industry evolves, so too will the role of medical assistants. By staying abreast of trends and changes in the field, medical assistants can ensure that they are prepared for whatever the future brings.