Medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other healthcare professionals. If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, you’ll need to complete a accredited medical assisting program.
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What is a medical assistant?
A medical assistant is a person who supports the work of a physician or other health care provider. Medical assistants work in physician offices, clinics, and other healthcare settings. They perform many tasks, including taking medical histories, scheduling appointments, drawing blood, and giving injections.
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education from a community college or vocational school. Some states have certified medical assistant programs that award a credential to graduates. Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have completed a certified program. Medical assistants should be detail oriented and able to work well under pressure.
Duties of a medical assistant
Medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative duties, and they are vital members of the health care team. They might take medical histories and record vital signs, explain treatment procedures to patients, prepare patients for examination, authorize insurance forms, do laboratory tests, draw blood, give injections, remove sutures, change dressings and bandages.
Education and training requirements
In order to become a medical assistant, you will need to complete an accredited medical assisting program. These programs typically take one to two years to complete and result in a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges also offer associate’s degree programs in medical assisting.
While not required, some medical assistants choose to become certified. Certification is available through several organizations, including the American Association of Medical Assistants and the National Healthcare Association. To be eligible for certification, medical assistants must graduate from an accredited medical assisting program and pass a certification exam.
In order to become a certified medical assistant, you must have completed a postsecondary educational 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).
You will then need to pass an examination, such as the Certified Medical Assistant Exam (CMA) administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), in order to receive your certification. Once you have passed the exam and been certified, you will need to renew your certification every 60 months by completing continuing education credits and paying a renewal fee.
Salary and job outlook
How much does a medical assistant make?
In 2018, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that the median salary for a medical assistant was $33,610 per year, or $16.14 per hour. The top 10% of earners made more than $48,720, while the bottom 10% earned less than $23,860.
The job outlook for medical assistants is excellent. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that the occupation will grow by 29% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to an aging population and an increased emphasis on preventative care.
Pros and cons of being a medical assistant
Medical assisting is one of the nation’s fastest-growing careers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re thinking about a career in medical assisting, you may be wondering what degree you need to become a medical assistant.
The answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some medical assistants hold associate degrees, while others have completed certificate programs or postsecondary nondegree awards.
There are pros and cons to each option. Associate degrees typically take two years to complete, while certificate programs can be completed in as little as one year. Postsecondary nondegree awards can often be completed in even less time.
The advantage of an associate degree is that it provides a broader education and may make it easier to find a job or advance in your career. The advantage of a certificate or nondegree award is that it can get you into the workforce more quickly.
Which route you choose depends on your goals and preferences. If you want to complete your education as quickly as possible and get started in your career, a certificate program or postsecondary nondegree award may be the best option for you. If you’re interested in a longer program that provides more opportunity for job advancement, an associate degree may be the better choice.
What type of personality makes a good medical assistant?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each individual has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. That being said, there are certain personality traits that tend to be more common among successful medical assistants. These include strong communication skills, excellent organizational abilities, and a compassionate and caring nature. If you feel like you have these qualities, then a career as a medical assistant may be a good fit for you!
What are the working conditions for medical assistants?
The working conditions for medical assistants are usually good. Most medical assistants work in clean and well-lit offices and clinics. They usually work regular hours, although some may have to work evenings or weekends. Medical assistants may have to stand for long periods of time, and they may have to lift and carry supplies and equipment.
What are the challenges of being a medical assistant?
Medical assisting is a demanding job that requires a wide range of skills. Medical assistants must be able to handle both the administrative tasks of running an office and the clinical tasks of working with patients. They must be organized and detail-oriented, able to keep track of patient records and insurance information. They also must be compassionate and caring, able to put patients at ease and provide them with the care they need.
Becoming a medical assistant is not an easy task, but it is a rewarding one. If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, you will need to complete a medical assistant training program. These programs are typically offered at community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools. You can also find some programs online. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass an examination to become certified as a medical assistant.
Is a career as a medical assistant right for you?
There are many factors to consider before deciding if a career as a medical assistant is right for you. One important factor is whether or not you have the proper educational requirements. In most cases, you will need at least a certificate or diploma from an accredited medical assisting program. Some employers may require you to have an Associate’s degree in medical assisting.
If you are already working as a medical assistant, you may be able to find a position that does not require formal education, but these opportunities are becoming increasingly rare. With the right educational foundation, you will have the best chance of success in your career as a medical assistant.