Jun 17, 2020 03:43 PM EDT

How to Start a Career as a Medical Assistant

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How to Start a Career as a Medical Assistant

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What does a Medical Assistant do?

Medical Assistants, also known as clinical or healthcare assistants, play an essential part in any healthcare system. They are part of the allied health professions that work alongside physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals and assist them by performing various tasks and procedures. They are responsible for many managerial duties such as responding to calls, guiding patients, maintaining patient records, filling forms, and arranging appointments, admission procedures, laboratory investigations, and handling the billing procedures and bookkeeping. Depending on the region, Medical Assistants may also have to take a history from the patients, monitor vitals, prep patients for examination, explain treatment and medication procedures, and help nurses or doctors during an examination. Medical Assistants are also equipped for the collection of lab specimens, sterilization of instruments, removing sutures, reapplying the dressing, and doing more complex tasks like injecting medication or taking x-ray after passing specific courses. 

A Medical Assistant's job is vital in a healthcare facility as they directly deal with patients, answer their queries, and help them feel at ease. To work as a Medical Assistant in a stressful environment requires a calm and professional attitude, excellent communication skills, compassion, and stamina.

The path to becoming a Medical Assistant

To become a Medical Assistant, one needs formal education in a post-secondary institute in the form of college or online program along with hands-on training in a healthcare facility. At City College in Altamonte Spring, FL, you can complete the Medical Assistant Program and get a diploma with only three quarters of school and externship. Working with other health professionals among actual patients helps build confidence, communication skills, and other vital skills needed to be an excellent Medical Assistant. Students with this Medical Assistant Diploma will be well prepared to take the National Certified Medical Assistant Certification Exam. 

What you will learn

The core subjects taught in a Medical Assistant Degree course include basic medical terminology, emergency medicine, computerized medical practice management, examination rules and procedures, and how to perform phlebotomy procedures. The degree program also focuses on basic science subjects like anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and additional courses on health insurance, EKGs, wound management, and how to administer injections safely. The degree program works to provide its students with the necessary knowledge and training needed to become a successful Medical Assistant. The course also includes instruction on how to interact with patients, admit patients, and record vitals. 

Career paths for a Medical Assistant

The BLS predicts a 23% growth in the employment rate of Medical Assistants from 2018 to 2028. This increase in the rate of employment is above average when compared to other healthcare-related professions. Many factors are contributing to this rise, one of which is The Affordable Care Act and the increase in the baby boomer population, which has enabled more people with access to health insurance and increased the patient inflow in hospitals, respectively. This has led to a further increase in demand for healthcare workers like Medical Assistants. Medical Assistants can be employed in a variety of institutes and have a broad range of career options.

How much do Medical Assistants earn?

According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the median annual salary for Medical Assistants in the US is around $32,480. However, this may vary a little according to the state and the institute. Medical Assistance is an essential field with ever-growing demand and is a vital part of any healthcare facility.

There are several career opportunities for graduates. Hospitals and Emergency Rooms are always in need of Medical Assistants. Physicians offices and private health practices are also viable landing spots. Having a Medical Assistant Diploma will greatly assist you as you pursue your new career in the medical field.

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