According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 500,000+ individuals are Medical Assistants in the U.S, and that figure is growing.
According to author Elizabeth Otto, posting on the blog “eMedical Assistants,” the “vast array of medical specialties and sub-specialties provide the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) with limitless employment opportunities.”
What Are Some of The Core Competencies of A Medical Assistant?
To take advantage of the different opportunities available to a Medical Assistant, it is important to first obtain the right trainig, and then to master the skills necessary to get a job in the field. A trained medical assistant may be expected to
- Conduct patient intake
- Measure and log temperature, blood pressure, and other vital statistics
- Assist physicians with patient examinations.
- Prepare exam rooms.
- Clean and sterilize medical equipment
- Administer injections
- Perform venipuncture and other testing procedures
- Schedule patient appointments
What Education Is Necessary Prior to Becoming a Medical Assistant?
To become a Medical Assistant, individuals must have a high school diploma or a General Education Diploma (GED). In addition, to obtain a better-paying position within the healthcare industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “most medical assistants have postsecondary education – such as a Certificate.”
Medical field administrators agree that most employers prefer to hire Medical Assistants who have completed a recognized training program. Medical Assistants may be certified as a Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA), based on successful completion of the CCMA exam. Additional options for Medical Assistants include successful completion of other certification exams that can lead to designations such as Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) and EKG Technician (CET). A good training program will give you all the information you need on obtaining these credentials.
According to the article “How Can A Medical Assistant Advance Her Career,” also by Elizabeth Otto, “if you are right out of medical assisting school, you’re likely to join the workforce as an entry-level Certified Medical Assistant.”
Grow Your Job Opportunities
Once you’ve obtained a job in healthcare, job opportunities will grow as you bank experience, become more proficient and widen your medical knowledge. Ms. Otto suggests considering jobs in management and teaching (such as working with incoming Medical Assistants) as you progress throughout the years in the healthcare industry. Other opportunities include
- Clinical team leader
- Lead medical assistant
- Medical office manager
- Clinical office manager
- Medical assistant instructor
- Medical records manager
- Healthcare administration
- Executive medical office secretary
- Transcription supervisor
Regardless of where you’d like you career to take you, it is important to do the groundwork, and get the training necessary to get a good start in the healthcare industry. Find out which program is right for you by researching the field of Medical Assistant.