Medical assistants can be found in most physicians’ offices, hospitals and other health organizations in every town and city across the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 600,000 individuals identified themselves as medical assistants in 2014, with a “much faster than average” job outlook predicted through 2024.
What Is A Medical Assistant?
A trained medical assistant may be tasked with routine duties such as
- Conducting patient intake
- Measuring vital signs (such as temperature and blood pressure)
- Logging vital statistics
- Assisting physicians with patient examinations
- Preparing exam rooms
- Cleaning and sterilizing medical equipment
- Administering injections
- Performing venipuncture and other routine testing procedures
- Scheduling patient appointments
What Are The Educational Requirements To Become a Medical Assistant?
According to the BLS, “most medical assistants have postsecondary education – such as a certificate. Others enter the occupation with a high school diploma, and learn through on-the-job training.”
According to both the BLS, and individuals involved in the medical field, most employers prefer to hire Medical Assistants who have completed a training program. In addition, 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 certification exams that lead to designations such as Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT) and EKG Technician (CET).
Are There Additional Requirements for Most Training Programs?
Individuals who enroll in a medical assistant training program must be a high school graduate or have a General Education Diploma (GED). In addition, students may not have a felony or misdemeanor related to the sale of drugs. Minor issues including traffic violations must be cleared up. A vaccination history is required.
Is the Medical Assisting field right for you? The BLS website advises that important qualities for candidates include good analytical skills with attention to details, outstanding interpersonal skills, and technical skills. If this sounds like you, find the right training program that fits your needs.