1. What Is A Medical Assistant?
A medical assistant is someone responsible for a variety of tasks in a clinic, from updating a patient’s medical records to drawing blood. They’re essential in a medical facility and play a role in supporting office staff and physicians. As a medical assistant, you’ll be trained in both clinical and administrative aspects, and work with other medical professionals in hospitals, medical offices, and more.
2. What Do You Do As A Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants play a versatile role on the job and thus have both clinical and administrative responsibilities. Detailed below is a brief overview of tasks you would encounter working as a medical assistant:
- Collecting lab samples
- Administering medication through injections
- Conducting basic lab tests
- Recording patient symptoms
- Taking electrocardiograms
- Updating medical records
- Greeting patients
- Completing insurance forms
- Scheduling appointments with patients
- Answering phone calls
3. Is Medical Assisting A Good Career?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that from 2019 to 2029, the number of medical assistant jobs in the US will increase by 19% compared to the projected growth of 14% for other healthcare support occupations. In addition, the estimated numeric change in that period is an increase of 139,200 jobs. The Bureau attributes the large projected growth to the aging baby-boomer generation, which will increase the demand for medical personnel. Furthermore, an increase in health care facilities and medical clinics entails more jobs for medical assistants. Being an integral part of a hospital’s functionality, medical assistants will be needed to perform both administrative and clinical work.
4. How Do I Become A Medical Assistant
In order to become a medical assistant, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED and you have to undergo training, which can usually be completed within one or two years. Your options include going to a vocational school and completing a training program or enrolling at a community college. Training programs at vocational schools teach administrative and clinical responsibilities and provide an externship so medical assistants can gain experience in the field. Alternatively, you can take a medical assistant program at a community college or university, which may also require you to take general education courses. After completing the program of their choice, many students opt to take certification exams to boost their credentials, as many employers prefer medical assistants that are certified.
5. How Long Does It Take To Become Certified?
The fastest way to become a certified medical assistant is through taking a training program at a vocational school, which can take nine months to complete, and then taking a certification exam. Different certification exams have different eligibility requirements:
Different Certifications Include:
- Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) from the National Healthcareer Association
- Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants
- Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from American Medical Technologists
- National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) from the National Center for Competency Testing
Our medical assistant training program prepares you for all certifications above mentioned. Check out our guide to medical assistant certifications to find the certification that is right for you.