Medical assistants have many responsibilities. It is an in demand career that requires years of education and passion for helping others. These assistants are used for administrative aid and to perform clinical responsibilities in certain areas of the medical field. Medical assistants are sometimes
confused with physicians but there is a difference. Physicians assistants are able to examine and diagnose patients (under the supervision of the physician). Medical assistants are more commonly used to keep order in medical offices and to ensure that things run accordingly throughout the day.
An assistants most basic task is more of like a receptionist. They answer phones, book appointments and greet patients along with a few other ordinary duties. The responsibilities of each assistant varies from office to office. Clinical medical assistants are another type of assistant who have some more duties that can vary according to state law. Certain tasks for these assistants may include preparing a patient for an examination, taking down vital signs or explaining an upcoming procedure.
These assistants are a key component to smoothly running medical office. To perform well in this field you have to be comfortable interacting with others at all times. You will be given a lot to handle at once, so be organized and responisble is also necessary. Most medical assistants are full time workers, pulling in 40+ hours, but there are also positions for part-time employees or those looking for work at night or on weekends only.
Training and Education
Education and training for this career can be obtained in a vocational-technical high school, or a junior or community college. Most programs usually take 1 or 2 years to complete. One year for a certificate, two years for an associates degree. Some of the courses may include anatomy & physiology and record keeping and accounting, along with many others. Although this formal type of training is preferred in most cases, it is not necessary. Medical assistants can get on the job training without having a certificate or diploma. If you do choose this career without prior training, you will most likely spend your first few months in training sessions and learning from co-workers.
There is room for advanement in this field. Some assitants go on for more education in order to become nurses or other types of health care provider. Others may decide to teach courses to train otheres for this career. Some may also find themselves moving up into a management position or continuing on to another type of support occupation.
Medical Assistant: Employment Availability
The employment for health assistant is believed to grow much faster than average; faster than average means an increase of 21 percent or more. Health assistant is one of the fastest growing occupations over the 2006-16 decade. Job opportunities are excellent, especially for people with formal training or experience, and certification. Medical assistants work primarily in outpatient settings which is a rapidly growing area of the health care industry.
Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 35 percent from 2006 to 2016 which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Throughout the years there are many technological advances in growth of medicine and aging in population. If these technological advances continue to increase so will the need for all health care workers, such as Health assistants. There is also an influential increase in the number of group practices, clinics, and other health care facilities that need a large work force, particularly medical assistants because medical assistants can handle both administrative and clinical work. This increase also increases job growth.
People who are looking to work as a medical assistant should find great opportunities. Medical assistants are perceived to account for a very large number of new jobs. Many other opportunities will come to from the need to replace workers leaving the occupation. Those with formal training or experience and with certification should have the best job opportunities.
Salary and Related Jobs
Earnings of medical assistants vary, depending on their experience, skill level, and location. Median annual earnings of wage and salary for medical assistants were $26,290 in May 2006. The middle fifty percent in this group earned between $21,970 to $31, 210. The lowest ten percent earned less than $18,860 and the highest ten percent earned more than $36,840.
The location of where medical assistants work greatly influence their overall salary. In a general medical and surgical hospital, the median annual earnings for a medical assiatnt was $27,340. The median annual salary for medical assistants working in outpatient care centers were $26,840. In offices of physicians, medical assistants typically earned $26,620, in offices of chiropractors, the median annual earnings were $22,940 and in an optometrist office, they earned $22,850 annually.
Medical assistants carry out duties similar to the tasks completed by other workers in medical support occupations. Administrative medical assistants do work similar to that of medical secretaries and medical transcriptionists. Clinical medical assistants perform responsibilities similar to those of occupational therapist assistants and aides; surgical technologists; physical therapist assistants and aides; and nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides.
This is a booming career that leads into other great opportunites for those pursuing advancement in it. Medical assistants are in demand at the moment and the need for them is only going to continue to grow. Although there is a less than decent salary, there are still many possibilities to climb the career ladder which is why its no wonder so many people today are training to become medical assistants.