What Medical Assistant Specialty is Right For You?

Posted by Athena Career Academy on Sep 5, 2017

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Healthcare is a multidimensional field that offers a wide variety of specialties from which to choose. Certified medical assistants have a sizable share of fantastic options. Some of the specialties give professionals an opportunity to earn additional certification. Many other alternatives rely on hands-on training and experience. Medical assisting students should consider gaining valuable experience in a specialty during an externship.

There are three main types of medical assistants, all of which are the pulse of a medical office or other settings. These include:

  • Clinical medical assistant – focuses on handling assessments, providing patient care and performing various other clinical duties. These professionals spend a significant amount of time documenting medical data, assisting physicians and preparing patients for examinations.
  • Administrative medical assistants – perform admin roles like maintaining reception areas, managing patient records, handling billing and general accounting. They ensure that the business aspects of the practice function optimally.
  • Specialized medical assistant – handles clinical duties associated with a given area of specialization.

Clinical Specialties

EKG or Cardiology Technician

This area of specialization is well suited to individuals with a keen interest in cardiology. Professionals involved in this specialty perform electrocardiography (EKGs) and receive on the job training in Holter monitor and stress testing procedures.

Podiatry

Focuses on medical conditions or injuries to the foot. Podiatric medical assistants handle various tasks, including wound care, trimming nails and post-surgical care. Additionally, they regularly assist with minor surgery and splints.

Obstetrics or Gynecology

Gynecology or Obstetrics is another viable option that allows assistants to help physicians conduct physical examinations. Individuals can expect to work with a wide variety of tools required to perform tests and procedures, including pap testing, minor gynecological surgery, breast exams and caring for pregnant women.  

Ophthalmology

Medical assistants in Ophthalmology perform diagnostic testing, administer medications and provide clinical support during eye surgery.

Chiropractic Assistant

Some of the duties carried out by chiropractic assistants include documenting medical histories, educating patients, handling insurance claims and assisting the chiropractor with treatments.

Factors to Consider

To make the right choice when selecting a medical assistant specialty, an individual should consider a variety of key factors. These include:

Duration of medical training

Courses in health care come with varying lengths of study and some specialties require a longer commitment.

Interpersonal skills

It is important to choose an area of specialization that best suits specific qualities. Being a people person allows an individual to thrive in areas that involve reception work or increased contact with patients. Psychiatry and family practice are good examples of areas involving increased interaction with patients and their relatives.

Key interests

To pick the ideal specialty, aspiring medical assistants should reflect on what makes them tick. This enables one to identify an aspect of medicine that is most interesting and enjoyable as a career. Excelling in a particular rotation may point to a potential specialization route.

Being passionate about the treatment of a specific medical condition is a decisive factor to contemplate when making a selection.

Medical setting preferences

Some medical assistants prefer working in outpatient centers or a clinic while others favor the simplicity of physician offices. Choosing the ideal setting makes it easier to enjoy a career in a given specialty.

Medical assistants can take advantage of almost limitless employment opportunities thanks to the wide variety of specialty options. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate of employment opportunities in the field may rise by 23 percent by 2024.

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Topics: Clinical Medical Assistant