Some people have decided to become a Medical Assistant. Congratulations! The starting salaries aren't bad (around $30,000 per year) and the employment outlook is excellent. A medical assistant helps the physician by performing basic clinical tasks and handling administrative duties. As an assistant you might work in a doctor's office, hospital, or a medical clinic. Often times the duties of a medical assistant vary from office to office. Different state laws governing medical assistants also change what exactly your duties will be.
Most assistants work in private offices and perform a number of duties in the medical field. Some might help the physician examine and treat patients. They might check the blood pressure, weight, height, and temperature of a patient prior to being examined by the physician. Assistant may also take x-rays, apply bandages, and give injections. Many assistants also take electrocardiograms which measure the electric impulses of the heart.
In effect, a medical assistant will act as an office manger overseeing the medical equipment as well as the office furniture and space. They will greet patients, handle correspondents, plan the schedule of the physician, deal with taxes, fill out insurance forms, and see that the office runs in a smooth fashion everyday.
Believe it or not sometimes a high school diploma is all that is required to enter this field. St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants are trained on the job. However, most physicians prefer to hire graduates of formal training programs. Vocational schools offer a one year program that leads to a certificate or a diploma. Community colleges offer two year programs that lead to an associates degree. A student will study anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, and medical terminology. You will learn laboratory techniques, clinical procedures, and first aid. You will also learn basic computer skills, insurance processing, and accounting.
Upon completing your education, you can become certified or registered by various associations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants or the American Medical Technologists.
Finding a job within this field can be relatively easy. Oftentimes schools will have placement offices that deal directly with the medical community and are aware of job openings. Many private employment agencies specialize in placing medical assistants and many doctors simply advertise in the local newspaper when they need help. As our the population grows older and the baby boomers are in need of more medical care, people are going to be needed to fill these positions. There are plenty of places to help you achieve your goals. You can do online courses and attend courses in the classroom. If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, then you are without a doubt very close to an institution where you can start your career.