Looking for a meaningful and challenging career? Medical Assistants are a crucial member of a health care team. From measuring vital signs, performing lab tests, greeting patients and scheduling appointments. Medical Assistant careers are increasing fast. You'll find them in physician offices, nursing homes, clinics, hospitals and emergency rooms.
To make a medical assistant career go smoothly you need a knowledge base which includes anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology and medical billing. They are highly versatile professionals in both clinical and administrative realms. You also communicate with a variety of people including doctors, nurses, patients, medical billing staff, insurance representatives and pharmacists.
A Typical Day as a Medical Assistant
In a typical day as a medical asssistant, your primary responsibility is to ensure everything is running smoothly. You are an extra set of hands for nurses and health administrators. You stock supplies, answer phones, set up EKG's, draw blood or explain treatment procedures to patients. You'll need to solve problems and be everywhere at once, while staying calm and professional. When a patient comes in, you'll record their medical history, discuss symptoms and take their vital signs. Help make the patient feel comfortable as possible and prepare them to meet the doctor. A medical assistant career can be demanding both emotionally and physically. Skills to assist physicians by performing administrative and basic clinical duties in an office or medical center are essential.
There are also other assistant career specialties in health care like a Podiatric assistant who makes castings of feet, exposes and develops x-rays, and assists podiatrists in surgery. Another option is to assist ophthalmologists in providing medical eye care. There are many duties required like conducting diagnostic tests, measuring and recording vision and testing eye muscle function and many more tasks to perform. They may also assist in surgery.
Working with the patients may be one of the challenging parts of your job. You're often the one dealing with upset patients and need to keep them calm and listen to their problems and complaints and find a solution for them. Make it clear that you're not a nurse and have different licensing. A doctor or nurse must order everything you do. Being a caring, empathetic, and a non- judgemental person is important to the patient. Always remember it's best to be highly organized and a good multi tasker which is crucial to the job.
Education Requirements for Medical Assisting
To get a certificate in medical assisting it will take about 10 months. A medical assistant career is definitely a rewarding one with room for growth. You must enjoy the versatility of medical assisting and contribute to the way the office operates. If you decide to move up, you can go to school to become a nurse or physicians assistant. Or you can move into a management or supervisory role. Remember, starting out as a medical assistant gives you the upper hand over people who are going straight into nursing from high school. The rewards in a medical assistant career are great and you will become a respectful member of the medical community if not just the community in general.