Medical Assistant – It Pays Well, but is it for You?
Going just by the name, it is pretty clear that the job of a medical assistant is to assist medical professionals. But what does that mean? Both in small and large hospitals you can see medical assistants doing work right from basic responsibilities to the clinical and medical aspects of the work. It pays pretty well, but is it something you can really see yourself doing? Now days, medical assistants can choose from a lot of specific departments in which they can specialize in. Some specialties include optometric, orthodontic, orthopedic, physician or in the general field of medical studies.
So if you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant, one of the biggest things you’ll need are organizational skills. When you have the responsibility of taking conscientious care of all the health care documents, you should possess extraordinary organizational skills. Other important characteristics are patience and good communication skills. These two are indeed very important because you, as a medical assistant, form a communication channel between the doctors and patients while fixing appointments, taking feedback, etc…
The daily routine job of a medical assistant is highly dependent on your job description and work location. Administrative tasks include filing patient reports, fixing hospital admissions paperwork or filling out forms and bills. Clinical tasks include explaining treatment procedures, instructions for medicine prescribed, changing dressings, first aid and preparing patients for x-rays and other tests. Another advantage of this job is that you work in clean and calm environments and generally face minimum work pressure.
Some people who are pursuing studies to become a medical assistant also work as part-timers during the weekdays and weekends. You can do this while you’re completing a one year or two year program for some extra cash. Once you obtain a degree in that program then you can start as a medical assistant. Most of the time, you will undergo formal training and work in real time situations. These training programs are available in major institutes, and they give you a cutting edge for being hired as a medical assistant.
The complete coursework for assistants include many aspects such as lab training techniques and medical and clinical knowledge and procedures. Almost 416,900 medical assistants were hired in the United States in the year 2006, with most working in physician clinics. Career growth opportunities for medical assistants are expected to rise much faster than the average for all jobs through the year 2016. Almost 147,099 additional jobs are expected to be added to this field thanks to an expanding health care field, technological advances and an aging population. Medical assistants who can manage both administrative and clinical duties of the job have better chances of being hired.
Advancement in this field typically requires more training, expertise and certification. Most medical assistants choose to become nurses or other health care workers at some point down the road. Administrative jobs provide alternate popular career paths because an administrative medical assistant can become an office manager without additional qualification. With more and more technological advancements taking place, medical assistants have a good chance of getting hired by physicians and hospitals.