A medical assistant is a vital component of any healthcare team. These trained medical professionals are responsible for assisting physicians during examinations and performing a variety of tasks for their supervising physicians.
Job opportunities for medical assistants are growing tremendously as more and more medical offices need these trained professionals to help their doctors and nurses care for patients. In addition to being a stable career in the medical field, this is a career opportunity that is growing tremendously and has a great outlook in the decade ahead.
Caring individuals who want to enter the medical field will find plenty of opportunities as medical assistants. Here’s what else to expect from this career.
Medical Assistant Job Description
Medical assistants are highly trained to perform both clinical duties and administrative tasks within doctor’s offices, care facilities, and hospitals. Because medical assistants are so versatile, their day-to-day responsibilities can change drastically depending on the type of environment they are working in.
Here are some of the primary clinical duties that medical assistants can expect to perform on the job:
- Taking the patient’s medical history
- Preparing patients for their examination with the doctor
- Explaining the treatment process to patients ahead of time
- Assisting the physician during physical examinations
- Collecting lab samples
- Performing basic lab tests
- Preparing and administering medications including vaccines under the supervision of a licensed provider
- Performing basic phlebotomy duties
- Wound care
- Providing backup support for miscellaneous patient care
Of course, there are also administrative duties for medical assistants to perform as well. Here are some of the most common administrative duties:
- Answering the telephone and returning email correspondences
- Welcoming patients into a facility
- Updating and filling out a patient’s medical records
- Coding insurance forms
- Scheduling appointments
- Handling billing and basic bookkeeping
- Arranging for and scheduling lab services and other necessary tests
Overall, medical assistants will be there to focus on patient care and to act as a liaison between patients and their physicians to ensure each patient is comfortable and well-informed during their visit.
Medical Assistant Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021 medical assistants made, on average, around $17.88. This comes out to about $37,190 per year. However, salaries can vary depending on what state the individual works in and what type of facility they work in. Some medical assistants can make as much as $52,000 a year or more and $20 an hour or more in this role.
The job outlook for this career is good and many hospitals and care facilities around the country are hiring licensed practical nurses for their staff.
Most healthcare facilities around the country are consistently in need of medical assistants to help round out their teams. Here are some of the many places hiring medical assistants right now.
- OnSite Care in Colorado Springs, CO is hiring entry-level, full-time medical assistants for their clinic team.
- There are often a variety of medical assistant jobs available with Middlesex Health. These positions offer opportunities to work in hospital settings or in patients’ homes.
- At Advanced Dermatology and Aesthetics in Chicago, medical assistants who work on the team can help patients with everything from skin checks to cosmetic treatments.
With so many different medical facilities looking to add medical assistants to their teams, there are opportunities for medical assistants to go into all different types of medical fields.
Training and Requirements
Medical assistants need a high school diploma or equivalent and need to have experience in sciences such as anatomy, chemistry, and biology. Most states require medical assistants to have some type of formal education or training and typically most employers will give preference to individuals who have gone to school to be medical assistants. Medical assistants who are doing any type of clinical work will need formal education.
After their program, students will also have to pass their certification test to receive a Certified Medical Assistant credential through the American Association of Medical Assistants. While a program will help prepare students for this test, it isn’t necessarily required to have a formal education to sit for these tests.
In addition to the credential through the American Association of Medical Assistants, there are other certifications as well including Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Registered Medical Assistant, and National Certified Medical Assistant.
Overall, with the right certification and some hands-on experience, there is plenty of career growth and opportunity out there for individuals who want to enter into a new career as a professional medical assistant.