A common dream most children have is to become a doctor or nurse. However, not everyone grows up to become a doctor or a nurse because these professions need a lot of serious and laborious years of study and commitment. They may also be really costly. That is why only a few fulfill their dreams of becoming a medical doctor or a registered nurse. In spite of this, you can still pursue your ambition of working in a medical field by being a medical assistant.
Different types of medical assistant careers are available for you to choose from. You could work as a technician, especially that technology have already become a huge part of medicine nowadays and the need for experts to work with technology is rapidly increasing. Some variables that one should consider when looking for job placement in this field is the average medical assistant salary, the job demand as well as requirements in education and experience.
You can also become a nurses’ assistant if you want to work at the patient’s bedside. This is an opportunity for you to personally help and care for the sick in the clinical setup. Another duty of medical assistants would be to perform administrative responsibilities such as keeping medical documents safe and scheduling appointments. Medical assistants may specialize in optometry, ophthalmic, or podiatrist competencies, or they could continue with general practice in general medical and surgical hospitals.
Strong organizational skills are essential for the job because medical assistants often serve as a link between patients and medical personnel whether assigned at the clinical area or the physician’s office. Effective communication skills are also very necessary. However, skills are not enough. You have to be qualified and competent to become a medical assistant through completing medical assistant trainings. These are educational programs that last for a year or two, which culminate in a certificate or associate’s degree. Courses include physiology, medical terminology, keyboarding, anatomy,transcription, accounting,record keeping, and insurance processing. Lab techniques, pharmaceutical principles, clinical and diagnostic procedures, administration of medications, and first aid are also learned. The students also study office procedures, patient relations, medical law, and ethics.
Medical assisting programs, are offered in several medical assistant schools such as vocational-technical high schools, post-secondary vocational schools, community colleges, and junior colleges. Some even offer online training courses. Post-secondary programs that last for one year result in a certificate or a diploma, and those that last for two years result in an associate degree. Some of the top medical assistant schools include Vista College El Paso, Newbridge College, Intellitec Medical Institute, Intellitec Colleges, Lincoln College of Technology, Heritage College, Kaplan University, West Virginia Junior College, Ohio Valley College of Technology, and Illinois School of Health Careers.
Medical assistants’ salary typically vary, depending on their experience, skill level, and location. In May 2008, the median annual wages of medical assistants amounted to $28,300. The lowest annual salary earned is less than $20,600. On the other hand, state government facilities were the highest paying employer with medical assistants earning annual mean wages of $39,570.