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What is a Medical Assistant?

A need for qualified health care professionals is currently on the rise. Baby boomers are growing older, babies are born every day, and more and more individuals are in need of medical assistance.

If you have a desire to help others, love learning, and want a career with flexible and reliable working hours, a medical assistant career may be the right choice for you.

What is a Medical Assistant?

Medical assistants are a vital part of hospital teams and doctor’s offices. They are the heartbeat of these facilities, assisting in both clinical and administrative procedures and acting as a liaison between the patient and the doctor.

As a medical assistant, you will be a highly skilled individual who ensures patients receive the care they need and the medical facility runs smoothly.

Medical Assistant Salary 

As a medical assistant, you can expect to earn an average of $28,860 a year, as stated by BLS.gov. Your actual salary may vary, however, depending on the amount of experience you have this field, the education you received, and the type of medical facility you choose to work in.

Your location within the United States can also be a factor in determining your salary. Cities with a higher cost of living will offer higher salaries than those with a low cost of living.

Medical Assistant Job Description 

When you decide to join the health care field, your medical assistant duties will include clinical and administrative tasks. Duties will vary, depending on the size of the practice, the speciality you decide to work in, and laws governing the scope of practice in your area.

However, on average, you will typically perform these duties:

  • Measure vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and oxygen levels of each patient.
  • Question patient on his medical history and record information on their chart.
  • Under the supervision of a physician, you will be able to give injections.
  • Answer phones, schedule appointments for patients, and help patients fill out necessary paperwork for their medical charts and insurance needs.
  • Prepare blood to be use in lab tests.
  • Communicating patient concerns and questions with the doctor.

As technology advances, a medical assistant must also adapt to the changing way medical and personal histories are taken and recorded. In most facilities, this is now done completely electronically.

If you accept medical assistant jobs in your area, you will be responsible for learning how to properly use this technology and keeping this information confidential and safe.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

In many states, you don’t need to obtain a formal education in order to find a job as a medical assistant. Many assistants find employment simply by obtaining their high school diploma and learning on the job.

However, if you want to obtain a higher salary and get a leg up on the competition, formal training is the best option.

  • Medical Assistant Training – Technical schools, universities, and communities college often provided formal medical assistant training for those who want to quickly join the medical field and advance their careers. This medical assistant degree generally takes one year to complete, however, associate’s degrees are also offered by some medical assistant schools and will take two years to complete. In some states, you will be required to obtain formal training through an accredited program before you can become a medical assistant.
  • Medical Assistant Certification – As a medical assistant, you do not have to obtain certification. However, many employers prefer to hire assistants who have gone the extra mile and obtained their certification because it shows they are committed to the position and have the skill necessary to perform the job. You can apply for four different types of certification, which are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Your certification options are a CMA, certified medical assistant, a RNA, registered medical assistant, a NCMA, national certified medical assistant, and a CCMA, certified clinical medical assistant. You must obtain formal training in order to be eligible for a CMA.

Once you have obtained your medical assistant training and earned your certification, you will be ready to join the exciting and fulfilling world of health care.

Don’t delay, begin researching your options for medical assistant classes today!