Medical AssistantJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Medical assistants fulfill a critical role in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other health-care facilities. Their responsibilities include administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, recording patients’ personal information, and submitting insurance forms. They may perform clinical duties such as measuring vital signs, helping physicians with patient exams, and preparing samples for laboratory tests. Considering the many responsibilities they carry, medical assistants need to have excellent communication and computer skills and keen attention to detail.
Sample job description
A medical assistant is needed for hire at [Your Company Name]. The role of the medical assistant involves many minor tasks and responsibilities. While there are several clinical duties to accomplish, there are also administrative duties. It is the assistant’s job to take care of phone calls, whether it is answering patients’ questions or asking for information from a client. When clients enter the building, it is often the responsibility of the assistant to escort them to and from their appointments. Scheduling appointments on behalf of the doctors is a necessary task as well, allowing professionals to make the most out of their time. Outside of these administrative tasks, there are also a handful of medical tasks. These include taking patients’ data, recording vital signs, and taking tissue and blood samples for lab work. If you think you are skilled with interacting with people, as well as organized, this may be the role for you!
Typical duties and responsibilities
Record patients’ medical history and personal information
Process bills and insurance forms
Measure vital signs, such as pulse and blood pressure
Help doctors with patient exams
Prepare blood and urine samples for laboratory tests
Give patients medication or injections, if permitted
Education and experience
Medical assistants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Post-secondary education, such as vocational training or an associate degree, is preferred. Several types of certifications are available, although many employers do not require them. In some states, medical assistants must graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam.
Required skills and qualifications
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
Experience with electronic health records (EHRs)
Strong interpersonal skills for dealing with patients, doctors, and staff
Discretion and the ability to handle confidential information
Ability to multitask and prioritize workload
Calm, professional demeanor
Keen attention to detail
Experience with scheduling software
Medical assistant certification
Experience working with scared or nervous patients, like children
Excellent bedside manner
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a medical assistant is $38,800 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Typical work environment
For this job, you will have the opportunity to be in different healthcare facilities. This ranges from hospitals, medical clinics, outpatient care centers, colleges/universities, medical research centers, and many more facilities. You can expect your hours to be different than a regular 9-5, as healthcare is a field needed day and night. Keeping up with sanitary for this job is essential as well, as it has the possibility of ruining procedures. Overall, if you have the ability to constantly switch tasks, organize, and communicate with people, you may be qualified for this role.
Medical assistants work a variety of schedules because some health-care facilities are open early in the morning, late at night, or 24 hours a day. As a result, medical assistants might work evenings, weekends, or holidays to cover the different shifts.
A medical assistant may benefit from having certifications that improve the application process and medical process. Some of the relevant certifications to the position of a medical assistant may include the following:
CCMA. The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant is an exam designed for you to prove your worth in the medical field. The requirements for this exam are not too difficult, in consideration of the responsibility of the role. Because medical assistants have a large variety of tasks, CCMA makes sure to cover as much as possible to help you succeed in your field.
CMA. The Certified Medical Assistant certification is one of the most accepted and well-known credentials to have. It gives you the opportunity to prove to higher-ups and employers that you have the skills necessary to thrive in this line of work. On top of all this, the certification only needs to be renewed every five years, requiring a pass on an exam. 89% of employers wish or require certification, so you don’t have any reason not to!
The first step to becoming a medical assistant is to earn a high school diploma or its equivalent. Courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy would be helpful. Employers prefer candidates with some post-secondary education, such as vocational training or an associate degree. Most states do not require medical assistants to be certified, but several types of certifications are available, including Certified Medical Assistant and Registered Medical Assistant.
US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook
SOC Code: 31-9092
Projected Employment in 2030
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift
Some medical assistants decide to specialize in either administrative or clinical work, especially those employed by large hospitals or clinics. Others specialize according to the type of medical office where they work – for example, optometry or podiatry.
According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, the growing number of older Americans who need medical care and advancements in technology means that medical assistants are in high demand.
Experience working with electronic health records (EHRs) will become increasingly important as employers move away from paperwork.
Sample interview questions
Do you have any experience in healthcare?
How would you rate your own organizational skills?
Do you have the ability to do basic medical tasks?
Are your communication skills good enough for the described job?
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