For those who have a passion for entering into a career within the medical field, choosing the correct career is a difficult decision. It is worth noting that there are numerous individuals who do not have the educational ability to become nurses or physicians but still want to work within the medical field. Those who wish to do so can choose to become medical assistants. However, before making this decision, it is imperative that one ask themselves; what does a medical assistant do? The answer to this question will help one ascertain that they are capable of handling the job requirements and duties that entail the career path.
What do medical assistants do?
Medical assistants help physicians by performing administrative functions as well as basic clinical tasks. These duties may include:
• Scheduling appointments
• Handing the physician materials and instruments
• Give injections
• Remove sutures
• Billing patients
• Maintenance of medical records
• Performing coding for the purposes of insurance
• Recording vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, weight and height
• Recording patient histories
• Drawing blood
• Administering medication
• Preparing patients for examinations
• Authorize drug refills
• Providing pharmacies with prescription information
Medical assistants may be required to interview patients in order to obtain medical information as well as measure vital signs. A medical assistant is also in charge of showing patients to their examination rooms and prepare them for the physician. This may include reassuring patients who are nervous about procedures. Due to the highly interactive job description, one needs to possess qualities such as empathy and the ability to express it.
Clinical duties such as drawing blood as well as tissue and logging specimens that require them to be delivered to the lab for testing may however, require one to attain special training and may depend on the laws of the State within which one works in.
Medical assistants work in hospitals, doctor’s offices as well as medical clinics and ensure the smooth and efficient running of the healthcare facility. Other administrative duties may include bookkeeping and taking care of doctor-patient correspondence. Another important question one should ask themselves while considering becoming a medical assistant besides “what does a medical assistant do?” is what requirements are necessary in order to become a medical assistant.
The very first requirement is a high school diploma. It is worth noting that is it not very important to acquire a diploma or proper training to become a medical assistant. This is because many jobs offer on-the-job training for the position. However, the assistant may not be able to carry out most of the clinical duties such as drawing blood due to legal restrictions. It is also worth noting that if one wishes to earn a good salary as a medical assistant, one should increase their educational level by acquiring a one year certificate or diploma through vocational training. In order to get certification, one needs to pass the national examination and be registered with the American Association of Medical Assistants. Medical assistants earn an average of $13.87 an hour or $28,860 per year and offer great job security. It is worth noting that medical assistant wages are higher in the North East and the West and benefits include paid vacations and holidays.