If you’re on the brink of deciding a career path for yourself, here are a few reasons why medical assistance may be a great field to enter right now:

1. The Department of Labor has ranked medical assistance as one of the fastest growing professions in the 2008-18 decade.
2. Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow much faster than average in the same time period.
3. Medical assistants are expected to enjoy excellent employment opportunities owing to increase in the demand for healthcare professionals.

And we haven’t even started talking about salaries, benefits and other perks of this job yet. If we have managed to convince you to at least start thinking about a medical administrative assistant career seriously, then read on for what it means and takes to be one!

Medical Administrative Assistant Career

The core job of a medical assistant is to provide administrative and clerical support to healthcare practitioners, although some of them may have clinical duties as well. These men and women work behind the scenes and away from the arc lights to ensure smooth operations in a healthcare facility.

Employed in a variety of settings that range from huge public hospitals to small private practices, medical assistants perform multitude of tasks as part of their day-to-day work. Although the exact nature of their work may depend on the employer, location and size of the facility they’re employed in, typically the general duties of a medical assistant include:

1. Welcoming patients into the facility.
2. Collecting info from patients.
3. Helping them fill out forms.
4. Answering telephone calls.
5. Scheduling appointments.
6. Managing correspondence.
7. Handling book-keeping.

Medical assistants also perform certain duties that are specific to a medical office and these include maintaining patient records, filling out health insurance forms, assisting with billing procedures, handling admissions, scheduling diagnostic tests, and other such tasks.

So far as clinical duties are concerned, they depend on the State law. Some states may allow medical assistants to perform only basic clinical duties, while others permit more advanced procedures. They are required to work under a physician’s supervision when performing all clinical tasks, which may include:

1. Recording patients’ medical history.
2. Preparing patients for examination.
3. Assisting physicians in examination.
4. Taking down patients’ vital signs.
5. Collecting samples for lab tests.
6. Sterilizing medical equipment.
7. Administering injections and medication.
8. Drawing blood and removing sutures.

Medical Administrative Assistant Training

If you are interested in a medical administrative assistant career, there are several paths you can take to get there. Here are a few ways you can prepare yourself for the job:

• Get some hands-on training in a clinical facility, although this may be a little difficult in the current job market.
• Complete a two-year Associate degree program from a community or junior college if you have the resources for it.
• Enroll for a medical administrative assistant training program at a post-secondary vocational school.

Irrespective of how you choose to get trained for a medical administrative assistant career, one thing that is likely to impress employers across the board is certification. Although certification is not a prerequisite for the job of a medical assistant, but if it leads to fatter paychecks and more employment opportunities, then it’s definitely worth a shot.

Organizations like the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT) offer certifications to professionals in the field.

Medical Administrative Assistant Salary

According to the Department of Labor, the mean annual wages of a medical assistant are $29, 760. The lowest 10 percent earn $20,810 per year, while the highest 10 percent earn $40,190 per annum.*1

Author's Bio: 

Nancy is a 35-year old stay at home mom of two. She worked as a medical assistant for five years before taking a break to be with her children. Her experience as a medical assistant gave her valuable insights in to the medical billing and coding industry, which she likes to share with others through her writing. Medical billing and coding programs often find mention in her writings. Her expertise in Medical billing and coding training stems from her extensive research on the subject.

Her other interests include gardening and baking. She stays in Cleveland, OH with her husband and two daughters.