What Does a Medical Assistant Do?
Medical assistants work in medical practices, clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They provide administrative support to medical staff, such as physicians and physician assistants. Before paperless medical records, they were responsible for maintaining patient records by recording patient demographics and medical history. Today, the advent of electronic health records has made this task much more accessible because these professionals enter information directly into a computer system. They may also prepare patients for examinations or tests, take insurance forms from them and pass on messages about appointments to their doctors or family members. Most importantly, they perform routine clinical tasks that include taking vital signs (such as temperature, pulse rate and blood pressure), collecting lab specimens (blood or urine), administering injections or other medication, and performing electrocardiograms. They may dress wounds, remove sutures, assist doctors during procedures and operate diagnostic equipment.
Medical assistants can perform many routine tasks because they have received formal training at an accredited medical assistant program. And to get better insights, we took the help of MedAssistantEdu to create this article, and we hope that it helps inform future Medical Assistants about the prospects of the role.
What Does an Accredited Medical Assistant Training Program Contain? An accredited medical assistant course typically takes 1-2 years to complete, depending on how much time students can dedicate to their studies each year. The curriculum for an accredited medical assistant course will often include the following modules: Basic Anatomy/Physiology Clinical Anatomy Pharmacology Medical Law/Ethics Microbiology Technician Skills Wound Care Patient Relations Management Basic Nutrition Advanced Vocabulary Office Systems Physician’s Office Procedures I, II & III (also known as Professional Credentials) Clinical Rotations
Once students complete their accredited medical assistant program, they are well prepared to take national certification exams at the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) level. Most employers prefer graduates of accredited medical assistant programs who hold this credential.
How Long Are Study Hours? The recommended time for study is 20 hours per week, which breaks down to approximately 2-3 hours daily or 10-15 hours each weekend day. The student can adjust this according to her schedule and learning style.
What Are the Career Outlooks/Earnings for an Accredited Medical Assistant Graduate? The career outlook for medical assistants is very bright! Job growth between 2010-2020 is projected at 30%, making it one of the fastest-growing occupations in America. The median salary for a medical assistant is $31,540 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and the top 10% earn over $43,000 annually.
How Do I Get Started?
Enrolling in an accredited training program like AAMA’s CMA Review Course will prepare you for success on day one after graduation by providing you with access to industry-approved textbooks, learning management system testing software, tests/exams complete with answer explanations and CMA and RMA interactive audio CDs which prepare you on your path to becoming a medical assistant or medical assisting student!
The first step to becoming a medical assistant is enrolling in an accredited training program where you will gain the clinical experience and knowledge needed to sit for your certification exam and gain employment as a medical assistant!