When pursuing a medical career, it's helpful to view the medical assistant position as a stepping stone to higher paying work. It's a position that's ideal for high school graduates who have been out of school for awhile and want to jump back in the medical field. It's also a practical career solution for part-time working mothers who want to increase their income or people who want a career in helping others. Here are reasons to consider seeking a career as a medical assistant.
Medical assistants help physicians and healthcare organizations with a variety of administrative and clinical tasks. The work varies, depending on state law, location and type of practice. Some MAs answer phones or fill out medical reports all day while others work more in a clinic. MAs need to have skills in general office management, customer service, appointment scheduling and billing. Since MAs will be working closely with insurance companies, they need to understand how to code and file insurance forms.
When working in a clinic, the assistant greets and prepares patients for examinations. Answering questions and explaining procedures to patients is very important. Assistants often perform laboratory tests and help patients with taking medication and have the power to authorize prescription refills. They may also draw blood, remove sutures and take electrocardiograms. A major characteristic of the job involves multi-tasking.
Reasons To Consider Entering Medicine
What stands out the most about any type of medical job is that it involves helping others, which can be very rewarding. Not only does it allow an individual to learn how to improve their own health, they can help family and friends. Ultimately, it's a job that helps physicians and patients, since there is currently a shortage of medical assistant jobs in America.
For people who worry that it requires too much education, the MA position allows one to quickly get certified and then decide from hands-on experience how much further they want to explore a medical career. Some people enjoy being an MA for decades until they eventually decide to advance to a higher position. The key is that it's a field that allows flexibility while paying a livable wage.
How To Become a Medical Assistant
The path to gaining an MA position only requires a few years of education or less, as most employers prefer candidates with a formal medical education. After studying medical courses in high school or college, students are expected to complete post-secondary programs that result in a certificate, associate degree or diploma.
Some of the fields of study to earn certification, according to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), include:
- human anatomy, physiology, and pathology
- record keeping and accounting
- laboratory, clinical and diagnostic procedures
- first aid and medication administration
- medical law and ethics
Candidates who gain the necessary formal training can earn a salary of around $30,000 for their first job. The outlook for medical assistant jobs is excellent and is one of America's fastest growing careers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Reasons for this strong outlook include growth in the number of health care offices, advancing technology and the increasing number of seniors who need medical treatment.
An easy way to enter the complex world of health care is to become a medical assistant. In a few years a person can transition to a rewarding health career as an MA then advance. The first step is to get the proper training and certification. Contact Athena Career Academy to learn about endless possibilities for a lifetime since health care careers will always be in demand.