Medical Assisting is a career filled with countless possibilities for those interested in healthcare. Most Medical Assistants can be found in physicians’ offices, nursing homes, and hospitals.
A quick look at the field shows that Medical Assistants are often hired as full time employees. While “duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tasks commonly assigned to the Medical Assistant include
- 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
The Medical Assistant in the Physician’s Office
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 59 percent of all active Medical Assistants today are working in the offices of physicians. Working in an office setting usually provides the employee with predictable hours, often between the times of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Times and days will vary, based on a specific office schedule. Ask these questions when applying for a position to make sure the office hours fit your needs.)
Median pay scale for physician office-based Medical Assistants is $30,830, according to the BLS.
Finding Employment in a Hospital Setting
While the majority of Medical Assistants find work in an office, many other Medical Assistants find themselves working in state, local or private hospitals (up to 15 percent of the working Medical Assistant population). Hospital professionals can earn a median rate of $31,410, and may find the working hours much less predictable than those of their colleagues in the physician’s office. For these professionals, “some work evenings, weekends, or holidays to cover shifts in medical facilities that are opened,” according to the BLS.
Outpatient Care and Other Facilities
Other options for the working Medical Assistant are a variety of outpatient care centers, where up to 7 percent of these individuals find employment. Median pay here is $32,060, and hours will vary depending on the duties and positions available. Additional healthcare facilities and healthcare practitioners – non specified by the BLS, employ up to 10 percent of the remaining individuals in this field. Median pay rates fall a bit for these individuals, down to $27,980.
A Growing Field For Career Seekers
Medical Assistant is identified as a very stable field by the BLS, with the “employment of medical assistants projected to grow 23% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
In a future blog, The Knowledge Nook will explore career growth opportunities for the working Medical Assistant, as well as valuable certifications that can boost your career.
Interested in the career of the Medical Assistant? Learn more by visiting PDI’s new Medical Assistant program at certificate.pdi.org.