The Life and Benefits of a Medical Assistant
Getting to know the basics of a medical assistant/medical office assistant:
The medical field is always in need of additional workers and one of the most widely recognized careers in the field is that of a medical assistant.
The basic atmosphere of the job is involved with handling documents and checking in a patient to a medical facility.
You will be working in a medical field but you will not be a full-time medical worker per se; instead your primary concern is with office paperwork and document organization.
You will still be required from time to time to do basic clinical procedures like drawing blood samples from patients and preparing the examination or clinical room for the doctor.
You will be responsible for recording patient data like their vital statistics and blood pressure readings. High level medical assistants also conduct administrative responsibilities, taking care of organizational scheduling, patient care procedures and running a medical facility while doctors are in charge of the patient’s health status.
The atmosphere you will work in usually focuses on a smaller office, such as one for a private practitioner or a small group of medical workers.
In this case you will be handling a lot of administrative roles like taking care of schedules for both patients and doctors, handling payments and keeping constant communication between the medical facility and with insurance companies and you will be responsible for prescription requests and for patient check-in and check-out procedures.
You do not need to limit yourself to just general practitioners. You can become a specialized medical assistant and work for an optometrist or for a podiatrist.
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in foot care while an optometrist is a doctor specializing in eye treatment. Before you can become a medical assistant to these special fields you will be required to undertake additional training.
You will be then be given the extra responsibilities to instruct patients on how to properly handle their footwear, eye wear and other utilities that the doctor may have prescribed.
You can be the person helping the patient find the right pair of glasses or to help a doctor fit a cast on a patient’s foot.
The road to medical assistant certification:
The basic education required to become a medical assistant is actually very minimal.
To start with you will need to have a high school diploma or a GED. Afterwards it is vital to have a clean criminal record; this constitutes to having no felonies or misdemeanors within the past two to five years.
Afterwards you can take vocational courses or technical training in any medical facility or community college offering the courses for medical assistants; there is the one-year certification course and a two-year associate’s degree course.
Either way, you will need to ensure that the school you enroll in is certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants or AAMA, otherwise you might not be qualified for the state examination.
The AAMA is responsible for giving out the certification exam three times a year so it is their standards that you need to work up to.
The education you receive will cover a lot of different topics such as the basics of medical office management, human anatomy, first aid procedures, pharmacology, clinical procedures, diagnostics, coding processes for insurance companies, basic medical terminology, laws and medical ethics, accounting, record keeping, and basic patient relations etiquettes.
Typical Day, Skills, Knowledge and Tasks of a Medical Assistant
You will also need to conduct practical studies in a mock clinical setting.
The certification process will be divided into two halves. One is a written test that will challenge all of the knowledge you have accumulated over the course of your training and the second is a practical test set in a clinical environment.
Once you pass and receive your documents you will now become an official certified medical assistant. The certification does expire however and you will need to renew your certificate with the AAMA every five years.
Do take note that you do not require a certificate to be a medical assistant but the certification is definitely a step up to secure a job. More and more employers are looking for certification these days.
Looking into the medical assistant salary range:
Certification also plays a major part as a certified assistant usually earns a higher salary. If you take special additional training and you are specializing under a podiatrist or an optometrist you may find your salary increasing to the $40,000 per year mark.
That same salary can be achieved by one who works at a higher managerial position in a large medical facility or hospital.
The salary of a medical assistant is not just limited to the bare basic numbers that are taken into account such as this.
Usually the best bit of being a medical assistant is that you get numerous medical and dental insurances along with your employment in the medical facility.
Not only do you get a good annual salary for an entry-level medical job but you also get the benefit of a secured insurance plan.
A lot of people strive so hard to get a decent insurance plan but a medical assistant can get it almost immediately upon their employment and this is an aspect that many are looking into.
Certification and long-term employment might be a requirement for this however so it is always advisable to further your education in the field.
The career of a medical assistant is definitely seeing a wealth of interest these days. It is a very good place to start a medical career or a business career if you are into accounting and human resources.
For those interested in a medical career this is a good place to start since you get to see how the medical field functions right from the reception desk and down to the paperwork where it all takes place before and after a patient sees a doctor.
You earn a solid amount of money and you get a stable insurance plan as well. If you want to pursue a career in the medical field, why not start here as a medical assistant?