The health care assistants in the medical field are very important to medical staffs. They assist in surgeries and providing health services to patients. These assistants are almost on the same level as the professional medical doctors because they almost have the same duties and responsibilities. Aside from a dental assistant and a nursing assistant, one of the professions that provide help to the doctors and surgeons is the medical assistant.
Medical Assistant Job Description
Medical assistants are the healthcare individuals that are supporting or aiding the medical doctors and other health professionals in their work. They provide clinical and administrative support to the doctors and other health professionals. A medical assistant performs several kinds of tasks. She is responsible for measuring the patient’s vital signs, recording information in the medical records system, doing routine tasks, and helping with medication processes and injections. She also carries the task to prepare and handle medical supplies and instruments, and collects and prepares body fluids that are needed for laboratory testing.
The coverage of the medical assistant jobs is very extensive. Thus, the medical assistants are divided according to the job that they perform. They are commonly grouped as medical office assistant, clinical medical assistants, administrative medical assistants, and specialized medical assistants. The medical office assistants ensure that the office is running smoothly. They perform office works such as answering the phone, greeting the patients, typing the doctor’s letters and memos, schedule appointments and sort mails. The clinical medical assistant’s job description varies from one state to another. Their role is to perform tasks that are medical-related. They can prepare the patient before the examination, take down notes on a patient’s medical history, assist the physician during the examination, call in prescriptions to the pharmacy, and sterilize the medical instruments. They can also perform jobs like explaining medical conditions and issues to the patient, collecting laboratory specimen, drawing blood, taking electrocardiograms, and removing sutures.
The medical administrative assistant, on the other hand, handles the submission of medical claim forms, scheduling medical tests, updating the files of the patients, arranging admissions on the hospital, bookkeeping and billing of the medical facilities and practice. Finally, the specialized medical assistants work in their area of expertise. For example, the medical lab assistants are obliged to do lab-related tasks such as testing and documenting of tests. The optometric assistant works with an optometrist and performs jobs that are related to the eye.
How to Become a Medical Assistant
- Familiarize yourself with medical assisting. Know their duties and responsibilities, their jobs, how much they earn, where they work etc. You can search the web for this information or try to speak to someone who is in this profession. That way, you can ask about their experiences, and what it takes to be a medical assistant. If you are still interested in becoming one after finding these details, then you can move on to the next procedure.
- You will have to enrol in a medical assistant school and study. There are several medical assistant schools today because of the high demand for this job. The programs for MA are usually offered at a community college or a vocational school. Find and accredited school that will equip you with the proper knowledge and training.
- Study well and graduate the program. Before you can become a certified medical assistant, you have to complete the course requirements first and graduate. No course related to health care is considered a walk in the park. You will have to study many books and be familiarized with the terminologies that are commonly used in the medical field. You have to study in order to be familiar with the appropriate treatments as they relate to specific types of illnesses.
- Take the certification test and pass it. Unlike certified nursing assistant or CNA, a medical assistant does not need to be certified or licensed before she can apply for a job. However, most employers prefer that they are licensed and have passed the certification exam to show that they are competent enough and capable enough to do their tasks in the future. If you want to increase your odds of getting hired, you might as well take the certification exam. The exam will not be as difficult if you have studied well and made the proper preparations.
- Find a job and get hired. After you graduated, and you are now a certified medical assistant, you can now easily find a job. Many employers will hire you immediately if they can see that you’re highly educated, and you’ve passed the certification exam. The programs for MA will often last for one year if you are applying for the certificate or diploma, and 2 years for the associate degree. The common courses that are included in the program are physiology, medical terminologies, anatomy, and office lessons like transcription, accounting, typing, record keeping, and processing of insurance. Students under the program will also be familiarized with the laboratory techniques, pharmaceutical principles, first aid, diagnostic and clinical procedures, medication administration, office practices, medical law, ethics, and patient relations.
Most MA programs are made up of two portions: the classroom portion and the laboratory portion. The classroom portion is where students participate in lectures, discussions, and take down notes. On the other hand, the laboratory portion is where students will have a hands-on and clinical simulation in order to apply the theories that they have learned from their subjects in the classroom portion. As part of the course, before each student graduates, they are required to have a clinical internship in a hospital, clinic, or other medical canters, where she can apply what she learned in school. The clinical internship usually lasts for several weeks.
Medical Assistant Employment
As of 2006, there were about 417,000 medical assistants who were employed and most of them are working in physician’s offices. The medical jobs for medical assistants are estimated to grow faster when compared to other professions in 2012, according to a recent study. This is because of the growth of the health field and the advancement of medical technology. There are other factors that will cause the growth of the employment as well. Some of these factors include more clinics, more medical centers, and more hospitals. The technologies that will be used in the medical field will require the attention of the flexible medical assistants. Clinics, hospitals and medical centers will also need the support of medical assistants for clinical works, and secretarial works. Some opinions are that assistants who have a license or certification are more valuable than those who have not taken or passed their certification exams yet.
Medical Assistant Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of medical assistants in 2007 was $28,270. Those that are employed under the State government facilities have the highest annual average salary which is about $36,430.
Medical Assistant Certification
In order to become a licensed medical assistant, you need to pass the certification exam. The CMA (AAMA) is the highest medical assisting certification exam. If you passed this exam, it means that are you are acknowledged and credited by the American Association of Medical Assistants or AAMA. Passing this exam gives you more chances of being accepted in your job application.
To be able to take the exam, you have to apply first. There are certain qualifications before you can take the exam. First, you must be a recent graduate of an ABHES or CAAHEP medical assisting programs that are accredited, or you must be a non-recent graduate of an ABHES or CAAHEP accredited program. Graduating students are also allowed to apply for the examination. Second, you must also provide the proper documents that are required depending on your enrolment category. There is an examination fee that must be paid by everyone who will take the exam. Ninety five dollars is required for AAMA, CAAHEP, and ABHES applicants, while $170 is required for the other exams. The certification exam is done three times a year, usually in the months of January, June, and October. Computerized exams will be done because the paper and pencil type of exam ended on 2008.
Another exam that can be taken by a medical assistant is the American Medical Technologists Certification or AMTC. This examination is offered to those who are interested in becoming a registered medical assistant. The examinee must be a graduate of an accredited program and must have 5 years of hands-on experience in the medical field. The exam can be taken online on the official website of AMTC.
Passing the exam will not be as difficult as you think for as long you studied well while you were at your university or college. Learning does not stop when you graduate. You should review your studies often to refresh your memory so that you will do well in the certification exam. Once you become a licensed medical assistant, your chance of getting hired will increase exponentially.
The greatest men and women in the world started out as an assistant to someone greater. Bruce Lee was trained by Wing-Chun master Yip Man; Leonardo Da Vinci was inspired by the greatness of Greek genius Phidias; Alexander the Great was a student of Aristotle before he went on to become the greatest explorer and conqueror the world has ever known; and finally various other historical figures who had towering and great feats were mentored by someone even greater. This proves that in order for an individual to be great, he or she must have a really good teacher. There is actually no shame in becoming an assistant to someone who can actually teach you a lot of different things, so if you want to start a medical career, then you must not shy away from medical assistant programs if you want to start a career as a general practitioner, becoming a physical therapy assistant if you want to become an accomplished physical therapist, or even a career as a medical billing and coding expert if you want a solid ground to become a medical practitioner in the future. It is also very important to point out that an average medical assistant salary is enough to be able to support yourself and to provide for further schooling if you want to enhance your knowledge and education in your road to become a full-fledged medical professional. Read more
National certifications are important documents for employers in making a decision as to who among the applicants is best for the position. A certification being issued by a professional organization is an indication that the applicant is serious and dedicated professional who tries to make a career advancement. It also testifies that the applicant is credible and is capable to do the functions attached to the profession. Read more
A Medical administrative assistant can sometimes be confused with a physician’s assistant. However, these two are extremely different from each other. A physician assistant is someone that is licensed and is registered to practice medicine through the direct supervision of an expert or a physician. On the other hand, a medical administrative assistant is a person who voluntarily registers himself or oftentimes become certified depending on different certifying body. As a matter of fact, there is a total of four registering or certifying body for medical assistants.
Rather than managerial staff in medical office, the medical administrative assistant is responsible for some essential tasks such as obtaining some data and information for the medical staff and then storing them neatly for later references. In our world today, there have already been a lot of medical advancements and this is an advantage on the part of medical assistants because their administrative tasks are becoming easier and automated. Read more
How to become a medical assistant is the question being raised by individuals who are interested to have a position in the medical field. There is only one general answer for such question and that is to have the necessary training and education for the position. Training is the key to fulfil your dream of becoming a medical assistant because once you completed such you will earn a good salary and at the same time help other people.
If you are a person who loves to care for other people, sociable and amiable, and have full of energy for various works then being a medical assistant could be one of your choices. The health care industry grows rapidly today and the demand for medical assistants is increasing exponentially. There is an online encyclopedia and various online resources that you can find to have knowledge on how to become a medical assistant and you will find out that it is not as difficult as you think. Being a medical assistant is very easy especially if you have the heart for the position. Read more
Do you have the ability to put people who need medical assistance at ease and keep the office run smoothly? What about spending your massive time and money to become a doctor or to have an important role in the medical field? Clinical medical assistant is appropriate for all ages starting from the majority age and above. It is the backbone of the medical field especially of medical offices as well as medical clinics worldwide. If the answers to these questions are yes, then, being a clinical medical assistant is the career that is perfect for you!
A clinical medical assistant training will require an individual to undergo a medical assisting program in one to two years. They will be trained to apply their knowledge in the field in the medical office and medical clinic. Physicians and doctors hire those who have completed their medical assisting program because of their earned certificate, degree, and diploma. There are various ways to earn a certification. Medical assistant programs for clinical medical assistant are being offered in a vocational-technical school, community schools, and some colleges and universities. Those who earned their one year completion of the program will receive a certificate and diploma while those who completed their two-year medical assisting program will earn an Associate Degree. Read more
If your future goal is to become a certified medical assistant, there are certain steps that you have to go through in order to accomplish this ambition that you have set out for yourself. Below is a step by step list of things you have to go through in order to become a certified medical assistant.
Want to be a Certified Medical Assistant?
The first thing you have to do is of course to undergo the necessary training which will enable you to learn the skills that a certified medical assistant must have in order to work efficiently in your chosen career. The only prerequisites in going through this training are that you must have a high school diploma and you must be at least eighteen years old. If you have complied with both of these requirements, then, you are ready to go. Read more
Perhaps many people are wondering if what exactly the job of a medical office assistant is. Yes, true enough, many questions are playing in our minds, like what kind of education and training does one need to attend to in order to qualify for such a position. In this article, we will be discussing about the roles and responsibilities of a medical assistant, various medical assistant classes and programs available-which will surely help those who are interested of becoming one. Read more
If getting a medical assistant certification is not a prerequisite towards getting hired, why bother getting certified at all? Let’s find out.
While medical assistants stand the chance of getting hired straight out of training school, many employers would certainly prefer to hire those with higher qualifications. If it becomes a choice between a certified and a non-certified medical assistant, the result is obviously a foregone conclusion. We can’t really blame them since getting a medical assistant certification is a way to validate whether the applicant knows his job and is capable of performing it well. This is because the examination covers all the functions expected from a medical assistant. Read more