Why Opt To Work As A Medical Assistant: A Career Guide For Beginners

medical assistant career
Img Source - The Balance Careers

A career in medical assistance is one of the fastest-growing careers among most occupations. The demand for medical intervention informs the ever-increasing need for professional help for physicians and doctors. There has been an increasing demand for American Career College in the recent past because most young people seek specialized training after completing high school.

Why is a career in medical assistant relevant today?

A career in medical assistance is on-demand and will continually attract many students because of many reasons. Many people today need medical treatment, and as the population grows, the need for first-class healthcare will increase.

Technological advancement is another contributing factor to the surge in the field. Healthcare and Information Technology is a required field that continually needs innovation to help solve medical challenges.

Who is a medical assistant?

A medical assistant is a trained professional working alongside doctors, surgeons, and physicians, mainly in the outpatient wing in clinics and hospitals. Doctors cannot sufficiently handle patients in the absence of a medical assistant.

Whereas a doctor can diagnose and prescribe medication, a medical assistant helps to prepare a patient to see the doctor.

What does a medical assistant do?

Medical assistants work directly with doctors. However, the duties of a medical assistant are limited to collecting medical information and preparing the patient to see the doctor. They also prepare the doctor to see their patients.

The duties of a medical assistant vary depending on the clinic. Most of their duties are administrative and clinical. A medical assistant may occupy the front office/desk to collect a patient’s personal information. They can also be found next to the doctor’s office to perform other duties like drawing blood or administering an injection.

Administrative Duties

A medical assistance duty may include but is not limited to the following:

  • Responding to patients’ phone calls
  • Scheduling patients’ appointments
  • Ushering patients and their families
  • Updating and filling in medical records
  • Take insurance providers’ details, complete forms, and encode them
  • Arrange for hospital admissions
  • Enlist patients for laboratory investigations
  • Handle billing and bookkeeping issues

Clinical Duties

Medical assistance duties as listed below and may not be limited to:

  • Records patients medical history
  • Explain medical procedures to a patient
  • Prepare patients for examination
  • Prepare and assist the physician during patients’ examination
  • Collect, prepare and present laboratory specimens
  • Conduct any basic laboratory test
  • Explain to patients about the administered medication
  • Explain dietary options to enhance treatment
  • Transmit prescription refills as requested
  • Administer wound care and change dressings
  • Present patients and take electrocardiograms
  • Prepare and administer medications as directed by the physician. These may include;

Immunization/vaccinations, administer intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injections.

Medical assistants are critical determinants of a patient’s recovery and wellness. They help the patient feel at ease as they wait to see the doctor. They also explain the doctor’s instructions to the patient.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

One can become a medical assistant after acquiring a high school completion certificate. Others learn on-the-job training after completing a high school diploma.

Education Requirements

To qualify for medical assistant training, one must complete a high school education curriculum. Currently, there is no formal educational prerequisite requirement to become a medical assistant. However, hospitals and other health care facilities prefer employees who satisfy the primary threshold.

Anyone interested can find information from community colleges like American career college, vocational schools, universities, and other technical schools near you. A medical assistant education leads to a one-year academic program and an award of a certificate or diploma upon graduation. Some community programs may offer a 2-year program allowing one to pursue a degree in medical assistance.

Medical assistant programs at all levels include classroom and laboratory sessions. Anatomy and medical terminologies are two units that are mandatory in all programs.

Students who may have a high school diploma or its equivalent have the advantage of learning on the job. If you are a student interested in pursuing medical assistance, you should take Biology, Chemistry, and Anatomy. The subjects are critical in building your career in medical science.

Primary Qualities for a Medical Assistant

A medical assistant is an occupation that needs particular qualities. Here are the fundamental aptitudes every interested student should possess.

  1. Analytical skills- A medical assistant job involves chart reading, interpretation for treatment, and diagnosis. It pays off to have reliable analytical skills. Analytical skills are essential when coding patients’ medical history and billing purposes.
  2. Keen to details- precision is a must for any successful medical student. A medical assistant should be keen to take all vital signs when recording patients’ details. Insurance providers, doctors, and physicians rely on accurate and detailed documentation of patient’s diagnoses.
  3. Technical skills- a medical assistant interact with patients at the triage, where patients begin the treatment process. Consequently, the medical assistant must use various clinical instruments to read body temperature, blood pressure, and sugar levels.
  4. Interpersonal relationship skills- A medical assistant often interacts with patients. Therefore, one should possess good communication skills to understand patients’ distress.

The medical assistant specializations

Acareer in medical assistants has further prospects for those who desire to further and specialize in other health care fields. One may also get a chance to work in a specialty clinic. Specialization allows one to hone their skills in medical assistance. The common areas of specialization in medical assistance are:

Clinical medical assistants- can run basic laboratory tests, sterilize clinical instruments and dispose of contaminated tools.

Administrative medical assistants- perform administrative duties. An administrative medical assistant records patients’ details, fills insurance forms and answers phone calls.

Obstetric medical assistants– works in an obstetrician’s office. The assistant helps with breast examinations and other gynecological issues.

Ophthalmological medical assistants-A medical assistant here specializes in the treatment of patients’ eyes. The medical assistant can help with minor surgeries and administer eye medication.

Common medical assistant potential employers

Medical assistants can find employment in public and private health care facilities. Others may use their knowledge and skills in chiropractic services.

Healthcare is a rapidly growing sector and attracts medical assistants to help doctors and physicians deliver effectively.

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