Considering a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk Career?

Considering a career as a medical office assistant or unit clerk? Here’s what you need to know about the job description, salary, and education requirements to see if it’s the right fit for you.

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Considering a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk Career?

Medical office assistants and unit clerks are in high demand across Canada. They play a vital role in supporting the day-to-day operations of hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities.

A medical office assistant or unit clerk career offers a chance to work in a fast-paced and challenging environment. As a medical office assistant or unit clerk, you would be responsible for providing administrative support to healthcare professionals. This could include tasks such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, preparing patient files and billing.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to deciding if a medical office assistant or unit clerk career is right for you. However, there are some key factors that you should consider before making your decision.

Do you have strong communication skills?
As a medical office assistant or unit clerk, you would be required to communicate with patients, families, doctors and other healthcare professionals on a daily basis. Strong communication skills are essential in this role.

Are you efficient and organized?
Medical office assistants and unit clerks need to be efficient and organized in order to keep the healthcare facility running smoothly. If you thrive in fast-paced environments and enjoy keeping things organized, this could be the perfect career for you.

Do you have experience working with computers?
Most medical office assistants and unit clerks use computers on a daily basis to perform tasks such as scheduling appointments and preparing patient files. As such, it is important that applicants have at least basic computer skills.

Why a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk?

There are many reasons to consider a career as a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk. The role is versatile, and the skills you learn can be applied in a variety of settings. As a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk, you will be an important member of the healthcare team, providing support to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

The job outlook for Medical Office Assistants and Unit Clerks is positive, with an expected growth rate of 9% from 2016 to 2026.* With an aging population and an increasing demand for healthcare services, there will be plenty of opportunities for those with the right skills and training.

As a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk, you can expect to earn a competitive salary. The median annual salary for Medical Office Assistants was $32,480 in 2016*, and the median annual salary for Unit Clerks was $35,080 in 2016*.** With experience, you can expect to earn even more.

If you are interested in a career in healthcare but don’t want to be a doctor or nurse, a job as a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk might be the perfect fit for you. With the right training, you can start working in this rewarding field in no time.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed March 2019] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/medical-secretaries.htm#tab-6

What Does a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk Do?

Medical office assistants and unit clerks are multi-skilled health professionals who perform a variety of administrative, clerical and support tasks in a medical office or hospital unit. They work closely with medical staff, patients and the public in a variety of roles, providing information and support to patients, families and other members of the health care team.

Medical office assistants and unit clerks are responsible for a variety of administrative duties, including answering telephone calls, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records transcribing medical reports and ordering supplies. They may also be responsible for billing and coding patient information for insurance purposes. In some cases, they may provide direct patient care, such as taking vital signs or managing infection control.

Medical office assistants and unit clerks must have strong communication skills and be able to work effectively as part of a team. They must be well organized and detail oriented, with the ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment. Most positions require completion of an accredited medical office assistant or unit clerk program, although some employers may prefer candidates with previous experience working in a medical office or hospital unit.

Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk Training

Medical office assistants and unit clerks work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices. They perform many different administrative duties, such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, filing Medical records and coding insurance forms.

Most medical office assistants and unit clerks have at least a high school diploma. Some have completed postsecondary education, such as a certificate or diploma from a medical office assistant or unit clerk program. These programs typically last one year or less and are offered by community colleges and vocational schools.

As the demand for qualified medical office assistants and unit clerks grows, so does the need for formal training. Many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a medical office assistant or unit clerk program. These programs offer students the opportunity to learn about the various administrative duties required in a medical setting. In addition, they provide hands-on experience in an actual medical office or clinic setting.

How to Become a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk

There are many different paths you can take to become a medical office assistant or unit clerk. Here are a few things to consider if you are interested in this career:

1.Earn a high school diploma or equivalent. To become a medical office assistant or unit clerk, you will need at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some positions may require postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree in medical office administration.

2.Complete on-the-job training. Many medical office assistants and unit clerks learn on the job, often through an internship or apprenticeship. Some employers may require certification before they will hire you.

3.Get certified. Certification is not required to become a medical office assistant or unit clerk, but it may give you an advantage when applying for jobs. The National Healthcareer Association offers the Certified Clinical medical assistant (CCMA) credential, which you can earn by passing an exam.

4.Consider specialized training. You may want to consider specialized training if you are interested in working in a specific area of the medical field, such as pediatrics or obstetrics/gynecology. Many community colleges offer certificate programs in medical specialties that can be completed in one year or less.

Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk Certification

Medical Office Assistants (MOA) and Unit Clerks (UC) are important members of the medical office and hospital teams. They work closely with patients, families, physicians and other health care providers to ensure that the office or unit runs smoothly. In Alberta, MOAs and UCs can become certified through the Canadian Medical Administrative Assistants Association or the Canadian Institute of Health Information Management.

The Canadian Medical administrative assistants Association (CMAAA) is a national professional association for MOAs and UCs. The CMAAA provides education and networking opportunities, sets national certification standards, and advocates on behalf of its members. The CMAAA offers the Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) designation. To be eligible for certification, candidates must have completed an accredited MOA or UC program, have at least one year of full-time work experience as an MOA or UC, and pass a written exam.

The Canadian Institute of Health Information Management (CIHIIM) is a professional association for health information management professionals, including MOAs and UCs. CIHIIM members working in medical office settings can earn the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) designation by completing an accredited health information management program and passing a written exam. For more information about certification through CIHIIM, please visit their website.

Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk Salary

In order to become a medical office assistant or unit clerk, you will need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Many medical office assistants and unit clerks have some postsecondary education, such as a certificate or diploma from a medical office assistant or unit clerk program.

Medical office assistants and unit clerks perform many administrative tasks in hospitals, clinics and other health care settings. They may answer telephones, schedule appointments, prepare patients’ medical records bill patients and insurance companies, transcribe doctors’ orders and maintain inventory.

Medical office assistants and unit clerks usually work regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends to cover the needs of the facility where they work.

The median annual salary for medical office assistants was $35,760 in May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for unit clerks was $33,280 in May 2015.

Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk Job Outlook

The outlook for medical office assistant or unit clerk careers is positive, with an expected job growth of 9% from 2019 to 2029.* This projected growth is due in large part to the aging Baby Boomer population and the resulting increase in the need for health care services.

As our population lives longer and requires more medical care, there will be a corresponding increase in the need for medical office assistants and unit clerks to handle administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, handling billing and insurance paperwork, and maintaining patient medical records. In addition, as more medical office procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, there will be a need for more medical office assistant positions in clinics and other outpatient care facilities.

Those who are interested in pursuing a career as a medical office assistant or unit clerk can find training programs at both the certificate and associate’s degree level. Many community colleges offer certificate programs that can be completed in one year or less, while associate’s degree programs typically take two years to complete.

Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk Jobs

Medical office assistants and unit clerks work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. They perform a variety of clerical duties, such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, and billing patients.

Most medical office assistants and unit clerks have at least a high school diploma. Some positions may require postsecondary education, such as an associate’s degree or certification from a vocational training program. Many employers also prefer to hire candidates with previous experience working in a medical office or healthcare setting.

Medical office assistants and unit clerks typically work full time during regular business hours. However, some positions may require evening or weekend hours.

Find a Medical Office Assistant or Unit Clerk School

If you’re thinking about a career in the medical field, you might want to consider becoming a medical office assistant or unit clerk. These positions are important in helping to keep hospitals and clinics running smoothly.

Medical office assistants and unit clerks perform a variety of administrative duties, such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, filing patient records, and billing insurance companies. They might also be responsible for stocking supplies and preparing equipment for procedures.

While most medical office assistants and unit clerks have at least a high school diploma, some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a postsecondary training program. There are many accredited medical office assistant and unit clerk programs available online and at community colleges throughout the country.

Before enrolling in a program, make sure to do your research to find a school that is accredited and that offers a curriculum that meets your needs. Once you’ve completed your training, you should be prepared to sit for the Certified Medical Office Assistant (CMAA) exam or the Certified Unit Clerk (CUC) exam, depending on your chosen field.

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