Healthcare is a fast growing industry that is why there is a steady increase in the employment of medical assistants.
Medical assistants, by the very name itself, assist doctors and nurses in all kinds of medical and hospital work. There are tasks like clinical work which includes collecting specimens and there are those that ask for administrative assistance like filing and record keeping. The main duty of a medical assistant includes computer and office-related work, patient care, laboratory duties, as well as other responsibilities needed in operating a medical office or clinic.
Because of the wide range of duties that the medical assistant will be responsible for, there are certificate programs that will help train and prepare students for a career in this field. The assistant certification course will not only prepare the students for these tasks, but will also help prepare them for the certification exams that they will be required to take after they graduate. The most common exam is the Certified Medical Assistant exam which is given yearly by the American Association of Medical Assistants.
Admission, however, is similar to the regular requirements of a university or institution which is a high school diploma or any of its equivalents like a GED certificate. There are also some programs that will require students to pass several introductory subjects as prerequisites to more advance classes. Since not all universities and institutions are the same, expect that medical assistant programs will not all be alike. Some programs will focus more on clinical and laboratory work while others will concentrate on medical processes and administrative skills.
In spite of the difference, however, the program will always have general subjects which are medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical insurance, coding and billing, laboratory procedures, medical office computer skills, and clinical techniques. Training will also be given for the proper use of machines such as x-rays and echocardiography. Upon graduation, students will be competitive enough to fulfill supportive roles in the healthcare industry particularly in hospitals, physician’s offices and clinics, long-term care facilities and insurance companies.
Recently, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the medical assistant field is one of the most in demand and fast growing professions in the world. Starting now up to the year 2016, there will be promising employment prospects for qualified applicants. With regard to salary, earnings of medical assistants vary from one industry to the next. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, shows that as of May 2008, the average salary of a assistant is $29,060.00.
After graduating from the certification program and after passing the medical assistant certification course, you have two choices. Either you start working or undergo further training. With further training, you will be able to gain more knowledge about the field as well as add more certifications to your resume.
Some of the certifications which you may want to look into and which are mostly available are courses in phlebotomy, CPR, radiology technician, and medical coding.
After this, you may then try to qualify for the Registered Medical Assistant exam which will require you to complete thirty continuing education points every three years in order for you to maintain that certification.