A medical assistant is a healthcare professional who works alongside nurses and physicians in different medical settings. As an essential part of the healthcare team, medical assistants assist physicians during examinations, daily tasks, and certain procedures, and provide support to doctors and nurses while they care for patients.
Individuals who want an entry-level experience in the healthcare field will find there is a growing need for medical assistants in medical offices, hospitals, and other care facilities around the country.
Medical Assistant Job Description
Medical assistants perform both administrative and clinical services in different healthcare facilities. The daily responsibilities of a medical assistant can vary greatly depending on their place of employment.
One of the primary responsibilities of medical assistants is to be quick on their feet and versatile, providing support as needed to the rest of the healthcare team. While jobs can vary greatly, here are some of the many tasks medical assistants are typically expected to perform.
- Asking patients questions and taking their medical history and filling out necessary records
- Preparing patients for their visit with the physician
- Assisting doctors during physical examinations
- Explaining treatments to patients
- Collecting lab samples, drawing blood, and performing basic lab tests
- Arranging for lab services and other tests
- Preparing and administering medications under physician orders
- Welcoming patients, answering telephones, and responding to emails
- Scheduling appointments, handling billing, and performing basic bookkeeping services
While most medical assistants are expected to be able to perform equal parts clinical and administrative duties, in certain settings, some medical assistants may be performing one type of task over the other.
Licensed Practical Nurse Salaries
The average salary for a medical assistant can vary greatly depending on the type of setting that individual is working in. According to the US Bureau of Labor, medical assistants make, on average around $37,190 per year. This career has room for growth and additional classes and certifications can lead to opportunities for higher earning potential. The good news is, for those interested in a career as a medical assistant, this is a growing career with a great job outlook.
Many hospitals and long-term health facilities around the country are in search of medical assistants to join their teams, this includes the following positions:
- In Covington, LA, HCA Healthcare is looking for a medical assistant to join its team in the cardiology department.
- City of Hope is regularly looking to fill part-time and full-time medical assistant jobs in a variety of departments.
- Garden State Gynecology in Morriston, NJ is currently seeking experienced medical assistants to join their growing team of healthcare professionals.
With so many different types of job opportunities available for medical assistants, those pursuing a career in this field will find ample opportunities to pick a career in the area of healthcare that interests them most.
Training and Requirements
Medical assistants will need to enroll in an associate’s program or online training course to get a job in this field. Before entering one of these programs, students will need a high school diploma or equivalent. Students need to have experience in sciences and clinical work experience before getting their certification credential.
After finishing their program, students will need to pass the Certified Medical Assistant credential exam, administered through the American Association of Medical Assistants. This is the primary certification that employers will look for when hiring medical assistants. However, medical assistants who want to have a more specialized career can sit for other tests and gain additional certifications such as the Registered Medical Assistant Certification or the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certification.
A combination of the right certifications and proven hands-on experience will open the doors for individuals interested in an exciting career as a medical assistant. The good news is, as hospitals continue to expand and the need for healthcare services in the US grows, so is the opportunity for dedicated individuals to find careers as certified medical assistants.