If you’d like to go into healthcare, or perhaps already have a job in the health industry, you may have thought about becoming a medical assistant. If you want a career where you can make a difference, interact and help people, becoming a medical assistant can allow you to do just that. Medical assistants work alongside other physicians in different healthcare environments such as hospitals and clinics.
Administrative Duties Of A Medical Assistant
As with all healthcare jobs, having a career as a medical assistant includes paperwork duties and updating medical records. You may need to know how to use the computer program that the physician uses, in order to record important medical information such as baseline observations (heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, etc.) that you take before the patient goes into the clinic. You may schedule patient appointments, greet patients and call them into the clinic room, answer the phone and other general correspondence.
Clinical Duties Of A Medical Assistant
There are many clinical duties that a medical assistant can undertake to ease the patient and make the job of the physician easier. This may include, but is not limited to, drawing blood, taking electrocardiograms, taking the patient’s previous medical history and preparing the patient for an examination including explaining the procedure and assisting the physician during the examinations. As a medical assistant, you not only allow the physician to focus on their role, but you also act as an advocate for the patient, and can often be the one the patient talks to and looks to for comfort during what might be a terrifying time for them.
Types Of Medical Assistant
As a medical assistant, you can take your career in quite a few different directions depending on your level of knowledge and experience in certain medical fields. A medical technologist performs diagnostic tests on patients to determine their illness, a medical secretary will take care of appointments, clinical letters and payments whereas a medical director will take a more managerial role as a medical assistant. The need for medical assistants will increase as more clinics open and the average age of the United States continues to grow. We now have a higher life expectancy than 20 years ago, which is affecting healthcare in the US. Dependent on your role and the state you work in, the salary you receive will vary. This salary site has more information on what to expect once you are qualified as a medical assistant in your state.
A medical assistant is in a privileged position to help, encourage, and support a patient throughout their clinical experiences, explaining treatments and allowing the patient to ask questions. You need good people skills to work in this role and a sense of empathy. There are many colleges and schools that offer medical assistant programs, and they are extremely flexible, lasting just one to two years. All you need is commitment and a GED or high school diploma, and you can begin your journey as a medical assistant.