What Do Medical Assistants Do?
Various businesses rely on medical assistants to perform essential tasks throughout the business. Generally, these assistants will perform clerical or administrative work on the behalf of their physician. Some of the more basic tasks include coding information, scheduling appointments and taking care of billing. Medical assistants also work directly with the patients to ensure they get the care they need.Substantial growth is expected to occur within the next decade, so if this is a field you are interested in, now is the time to get started in it. Growth of 29% is projected to occur annually, and that translates to about 26,990 job openings a year. There is going to be a lot of demand for medical assistants in the coming years, so get started on your training right away.
Medical Assistants Skills and Abilities
You should enter the field with a certain amount of medicinal knowledge, but if you are going to be working at a dental office, then you should be familiar with basic dentistry principles. Regardless of the type of office you choose to work at, you should have great customer service skills since you will be working directly with patients on a daily basis. Social perceptiveness is invaluable in this field. That basically means being aware of when someone needs something even though they do not directly ask for it. You also need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and doctors alike.
Medical Assistants Duties
Every company is different and may ask you to perform a variety of tasks. However, there are certain duties that you should expect to perform no matter where you work as a medical assistant. For example, you should be prepared to record a patient’s medical history by taking their vitals and collecting personal information. You should familiarize yourself with the layout of the building so that you can direct people where they need to go. You will also need to collect blood and tissue samples for doctors. In addition to all of these medical-related responsibilities, you will also just need to perform basic office tasks like answering the phone and filling out insurance forms. Some more responsibilities that may be expected of you include:
- Cleaning rooms and equipment.
- Processing billing information.
- Maintaining inventory of supplies.
- Explaining information to patients.
- Administering medications.
- Operating X-ray machines.
- Greeting patients.
Medical Assistants Tools and Technology
A lot of your time will be spent behind a desk in front of a computer, so you should know how to use accounting and medical software. You should also know your way around various medical tools such as hypodermic needles, spirometers and nebulizers.
Education and Training for Medical Assistants
Although you can pursue a traditional education that results in a Bachelor’s degree in order to get this position, most people are able to get work by simply obtaining a postsecondary award. This means that you have taken courses that make you specially qualified to be a medical assistant. Some of the programs you should look into taking include:
- Clinical Assistant
- Chiropractic Studies
- Medical Reception
Medical Assistants Salary
If you are just starting out, then you should be prepared to make around $10.00 an hour, which is the low end of the wage scale. As you gain more experience, you can expect that number to go up to $14.41. The highest paid medical assistants are able to make $20.50/hour.
Medical Assistants Jobs by Geography
Medical assistants are needed all over the country, but the states with the highest levels of employment are California, Texas and Florida. To earn the most amount of money for the same work, you should look into the District of Columbia and Alaska because they tend to pay their medical assistants the most.