It’s no surprise that with the current state of the world, the demand for those within the medical field has increased exponentially. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for nurses is projected to grow over 45% between 2020 and 2030.
According to Genesis Career College, a medical assistant school in Georgia and Tennessee, many states regulate the voluntary certification of medical assistants. In other words, if you wish to pursue a voluntary certification, there are certain tests that each state requires to be accepted. You must complete an application process within the state to be officially recognized as a “certified” medical assistant.
When looking at the outlook of jobs for those in the medical field, there are so many different career opportunities available by simply earning your diploma in medical assisting. If you are interested in becoming a medical assistant, it is important to consider the jobs that may be available to you after receiving your diploma.
What a medical assistant does
In the day-to-day role of a medical assistant, they are oftentimes tasked with several administrative and clinical tasks within the offices of hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare facilities. However, the duties vary depending on the size of the practice the medical assistant works in, as well as the practice’s specialty and location.
In most cases, medical assistants are responsible for taking and recording patients’ personal information, as well as keeping that information confidential. As a medical assistant, they primarily work alongside physicians in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities such as clinics or medical offices. Medical assistants are capable of working both in the front and back office depending on the facility they work within.
In today’s world, everything is typically done electronically, so they are also responsible for learning electronic health records (EHRs) and the software used to retain this information. However, dependent upon the practice in which you work, medical assistants may either specialize in clinical work or administrative work.
The administrative duties of a medical assistant typically include the clerical side of duties. In most cases, a medical assistant working on the administrative side is tasked with filling out insurance information and forms, as well as coding patients’ medical information. In most cases, they are the person you speak with when calling a doctor’s office, as they are tasked with answering telephones and scheduling patients’ appointments.
The clinical duties of a medical assistant involve more of the medical side of tasks. For instance, as a medical assistant working in the clinical field, you may be tasked with basic laboratory tests, sterilizing medical instruments, and disposing of contaminated instruments. They also oftentimes work with patients to discuss medications and other health-related topics. They are the individuals who work to prepare patients for x-rays, practice phlebotomy, remove patients’ stitches, and so on. In simple terms, they work more so on the medical side of the career.
There are so many different career opportunities you can pursue with a diploma in medical assisting. Listed below are a few career paths you could pursue within the medical assistant field.
As discussed previously, a medical assistant is the overarching title given when receiving a diploma in medical assisting. As a medical assistant, dependent upon the facility you work in, you may be tasked with both clinical and administrative tasks on a day-to-day basis. Typical job tasks for a medical assistant include recording patients’ health history, measuring their body’s vitals, handling phlebotomy and injections, giving patients medication as directed by the physician, and entering patients’ information and medical records.
Clinical Medical Assistant
If you are interested in the clinical side of the job, then you may consider a career as a clinical medical assistant. This role is responsible for the medical side of tasks such as drawing blood, doing basic laboratory tests, gathering a patient’s health history, or injections.
Administrative Medical Assistant
If you have a preference for the clinical side of the field, then a career as a clinical medical assistant may be a great fit for you. As a clinical medical assistant, you would handle the clerical side of the job such as entering patients’ information, insurance, payments, and so on.
Medical Office Assistant
As a medical office assistant, you would be tasked with performing a wide variety of different office duties to help ensure the facility you work in is operating effectively and smoothly. In this role, good interpersonal skills are required as you would be interacting with doctors, nurses, patients, and other individuals on a day-to-day basis. They may be tasked with greeting patients, scheduling appointments, collecting patient information, managing financials, and sharing test results with patients after being seen by a nurse or doctor. This position is needed everywhere, so they can typically work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, surgical centers, outpatient care clinics, rehab centers, and so on.
A medical secretary is just as it sounds – an individual who performs the secretarial duties of the role. They must have a unique and very specific knowledge of medical terminology, as well as laboratory, clinic, and hospital procedures. In most cases, a medical secretary works to bill patients, schedule appointments, compile patients’ medical records, and correspond between patients and their doctors and nurses.
The career outlook for medical assistants is continuing to increase, as the demand has never been higher. There are so many unique roles you can pursue with a diploma in medical assisting. Regardless of whether you prefer the administrative or clinical side of the field, if you have a passion for helping others and strong interpersonal skills, this may be a great career path for you.