Those who are looking for entry into the healthcare field may want to consider a position as a medical assistant. The jobs of medical assistants can vary drastically based on the place of employment. Some will find that they work in administrative offices, working to keep patients medical records and keep them updated. Others will find that they work in clinical settings, assisting doctors and other healthcare professions in necessary and appropriate ways.
Those who take on medical assistant jobs as clinical medical assistants will find a wide variety of job opportunities available to them based on the state that they reside and work in. Some states will allow medical assistants to record vital signs and work with patients to help them to better understand treatments and medications and prepare them for certain procedures or examinations. Some medical assistants take on roles generally given to nurses, such as administering medications, working with patients on diet and exercise requirements, drawing blood, and performing basic tests, such as electrocardiograms. Clinical assistants may also help in laboratories and testing facilities. It is important to note that medical assistants can only do work as allowed by state requirements and as directed by licensed physicians.
Those who take on administrative medical assistant jobs should expect to handle paperwork. These medical assistants will be expected to help keep medical records up to date and fill out any insurance forms as needed. Medical assistants are often the liaison between hospitals/physicians and the testing laboratories they use for tests. There are some more clerical tasks that these professionals may be asked to perform, including basic scheduling and bookkeeping.
There is a wide range of educational opportunities available to those who would like to become a medical assistant. Most students will attend one-year vocational programs or two year associates degree programs. Students will need to cover a wide variety of classes and courses to be considered for most jobs, including medical terminology, laboratory techniques, anatomy, physiology, pharmaceutical basics, first aid, and medical administration. Students must also go through technology courses to ensure that they are well versed in accounting, insurance processing, keyboarding, and transcription.
Some opportunities for medical assistant positions do not require any sort of official training. Individuals who have a high school diploma may find locations that are willing to train them on their own needs for a medical assistant. States generally do not regulate medical assistants. Some states will allow medical assistants to go beyond the usual assistant jobs if they pass specific board tests.
It is possible for students to get certified in the world of medical assistants. The American Association of Medical Assistants and the Association of Medical Technologists (AAMA and AMT, respectfully), are two of the most recognized associations for certification.
It is easy to become a medical assistant, a job that is in a field that is expected to grow quickly. The expanding health care needs of the world are creating plenty of opportunities in this area.