Medical Assistants are healthcare professionals, who are in charge of completing clinical and administrative tasks in hospitals, offices of physicians and other medical settings. Exact duties of these professionals vary according to the location, size of the practice and specialty, but generally speaking, they perform the following tasks:
- Noting the patient’s personal information and past medical records
- Measuring vital signs for patients, such as taking blood pressure readings
- Assisting physicians and senior medical staff with patient examinations
- Administering injections or medications to patients, as directed by the physicians and permitted by the state law
- Scheduling appointments with patients
- Preparing blood samples to be sent to labs for testing
- Entering patient data into the relevant database
5 Benefits of Becoming a Medical Assistant
If you are interested in the medical field but don’t know where to begin, a career as a medical assistant might be just the thing you need. Here is a list of 5 benefits of becoming a medical assistant that might help you make your decision.
- Personal Requirement: Allow to help individuals while working in the healthcare industry on a daily basis. Medical Assistants get the chance to communicate with different types of patients, diagnosis followed by responsibility from welcoming the medical patients at the front desk to removing sutures. Every day can be a new learning experience for medical assistants.
- Low Barriers to Entry: To become a medical assistant, you do not require a college degree or any formal education in particular. A high school education, with on-the-job training, is usually sufficient. However, employers show a preference for hiring candidates who have completed a certification or an associate’s degree. These programs can general accomplished in one or two years and can help in getting better job opportunities and better pay-scale.
- A High Growth Field: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for medical assistants in the years from 2018 to 2028 was 23%, which is much faster than the average growth for all occupations (5%). This means an addition of 154,900 new jobs in this time period.
- Flexible Schedule: As a medical assistant, many healthcare facilities would allow you to work part-time, though this is entirely dependent on the policies of the facility. In a hospital setting, you might be required to work on weekends, holidays and night shifts. This gives you a certain amount of freedom in determining your work schedule.
- Opportunities for Advancement: Working as a medical assistant can serve as a stepping stone towards a career in an advanced field of medicine. For instance, you might realize that you enjoy working closely with patients, and subsequently opt for the field of nursing. After getting some field experience, several medical assistants go ahead achieving the position of an office manager, which also comes with more responsibilities.
What do I Need to Become a Medical Assistant?
If the field sounds interesting to you, you might want to read on about how to become a medical assistant.
Step 1: Get a High School Diploma
This is the minimum educational qualification that you will have to complete in order to be eligible for medical assistant programs or positions.
Step 2: Select the Right Program
This step would involve choosing a program that is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
Step 3: Get Certified
After you have completed the required training from a community college or a vocational institute, you might want to consider getting a certification. Although in several US states, medical assistants need not be certified, employers still prefer to hire a certified professional. Due to which it is become necessary to get certified, after passing an exam, and after having graduated from an accredited institute, followed by a certain number of years of experience.
In most cases, the medical candidate would be required to be at least 18 years of age. Certifications which are included
- Certified Medical Assistant (CME)
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA),
- Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) and the
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA).
- How Much Can I Make as a Medical Assistant?
As per 2018 data, a Medical Assistant can make $33,610 per year, which equals to $16.16 per hour. This information has been extracted from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.