Planning a Medical Assistant Career?
There is a multitude of exciting career choices available in the healthcare industry, such as medical assistant, phlebotomist, medical records technician and many others. Health care provider groups, physicians and surgeons, clinics, hospitals and insurance companies everywhere are screaming for qualified medical office staff and recruiting firms are scrambling to meet their need from coast to coast. Jobs in medical assisting and healthcare open and close daily.
Planning a New Medical Assistant Career?
How to become a medical assistant or similar allied health professional and find a rewarding job in the booming medical and healthcare field.
The first step when deciding on a fitting career is to take time to assess what you do well. It’s also important to explore the educational, training and career opportunities available in your particular area first. Ant there is no question: another very important consideration is what a medical assistant gets paid in your area.
Employment in Medical Assisting
healthcare provides millions of jobs-13.1 million jobs for wage and salary workers and about 411,000 jobs for self-employed and unpaid family workers alone.
Of the 13.1 million wage and salary jobs, 41 percent were in hospitals; another 22 percent were in nursing, and residential care facilities and 16 percent were in offices of physicians.
Rapid growth is expected in private practices, health maintenance organizations (HMO), medical centers and hospital outpatient facilities that provide walk-in services, same-day surgery, emergency and weekend care and physical rehabilitation therapy. Many of these facilities employ medical assistants. Their average salary varies from state to state based on education, training, qualifications, credentials and years of experience.
• Outpatient care centers: $25,360
• General medical and surgical hospitals: $25,160
• Physician’s offices: $24,930
• Offices of other health practitioners: $21,930
An increasing number of medical procedures once performed only in hospitals are now also being performed in physiciansâ€™ offices and outpatient care centers, such as freestanding ambulatory surgical and emergency centers. Accordingly, employment is expected to grow very fast as opportunities in health care expansion.
Education: High School, moderate-term on-the-job training, post-secondary vocational diploma, or Associate’s degree, CPR certification. Attention: Although certified medical assistants are trained in phlebotomy, EKG, and X-ray procedures many states now mandate that anybody performing these skills must have a specific license to do so.
• Employed: 539,220
• Openings: 68,000
• Projected Employment: 690,400
• Median Annual Earnings: $24,610
Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood and administering medications as directed by physician. Experienced medical assistants often elect to crosstrain or transition into these related fields to move on and up in their career.
Are you a medical assistant wishing to cross-train into related other allied health career jobs? If you are contemplating a new direction we can show you the first steps when deciding on a better fitting career path and point out additional career opportunities in the medical and health care field.
Medical Assistant to RN
Can it be done? Many experienced allied health/healthcare professionals, especially highly skilled and motivated medical assistants, eventually cross-train into other health service occupations such as an X-ray or EKG technician, dental assistant, ophthalmic medical assistant, surgical technologist, phlebotomist, or massage therapist. Yet, others go back to school and become radiation or nuclear technologists, or licensed practical and registered nurses (LPN or RN). What ever your goal might be: with additional education and training anything is possible!
Medical Records Technicians
Some medical assistants cross-train into occupations, such as a medical records technician which involve medical data use. Medical record technicians function as a vital link between the patient and the physician, although they do not provide patient care. When assembling a patient’s medical record it is them who first make sure that the medical chart is complete. They also play an important role in coordinating an office’s administrative activities and ensuring that information is disseminated to staff and clients. In a number of organizations, medical record technicians and secretaries work in teams in order to work flexibly and share their expertise. Learn more:
Medical Data Assistants
The administrative medical assistant may already be familiar with the duties of a medical data assistant who is employed in medical offices, clinics, medical insurance companies, medical equipment suppliers and hospitals. The medical data assistant is trained in medical terminology and transcription as well as in insurance coding and medical data management. Their broad based medical knowledge will allow medical data assistants to perform tasks that involve keying of medical data into databases and onto laboratory reports, providing supportive front desk functions, or scheduling appointments among many other tasks.
Medical Billing Clerks
Most administrative medical assistants are familiar with the medical billing and coding specialist’s job. They are proficient in knowing insurance rules, billing practices and hospital or laboratory procedure, as well as dataentry. Medical billing and coding specialists submit proper documentation to a number of insurance companies and federal agencies for reimbursement and avoid fraud charges in order for their employer to financially succeed. Their specialized training and expertise lets them find work any place, any time! The nature of this work can lend itself to alternative or flexible working arrangements, such as part time work. The majority of medical billing and coding specialists, however, are full-time employees who work a standard 40-hour week. Learn more:
The medical transcriptionist performs supportive tasks in medical group practices, clinics, hospitals, medical insurance companies and medical supply and equipment firms. The medical transcriptionist can be described as a “word technician” who transcribes and edits medical letters, medical reports, or medical publications regarding patient’s examinations, operations and laboratory procedures. Medical transcriptionists must possess a high degree of language, listening and editing skill.
Phlebotomists are healthcare professionals who have been trained to collect patient’s blood specimens by venipuncture and by microcollection techniques. They usually work under the supervision of a physician, a medical laboratory scientist, or a lead phlebotomist. After the phlebotomist collects the blood, they process and analyze the specimen with sophisticated laboratory equipment.
Some medical assistants seek positions in local pharmacy stores as a pharmacy aide where they apply similar skills learned in a medical office. Pharmacy aides record drugs delivered to the pharmacy, store incoming merchandise and inform the supervisor of stock needs. They may also operate a cash register and accept prescriptions for filling at the customer care counter.
Physical Therapist Assistant
A medical assistant that is familiar with typical ROM exercises, cold and heat therapy modalities, ambulation and various physical therapy techniques, with additional training may join the therapeutic team in a hospital, physician’s office or the office of a physical therapist, in nursing care facilities, home healthcare services, or outpatient care centers. They find their new role as a physical therapist assistant rewarding and well worth their efforts.
The hemodialysis, or dialysis technician program is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive introduction to the field of hemodialysis and the skills required for entry-level employment as a Dialysis Technician. Medical assistants working in hemodialysis centers work under the supervision of physicians and nurses. They clean and disinfect dialysis and related equipment in accordance with policy and procedures. They prepare and administer medications as ordered and record patient status during dialysis treatments.
Home Health Aide
The home health aide works under the supervision of a supervising registered nurse and carries out duties as listed on the client’s home healthcare plan. Home Health Aide training involves a 4 – 6 week career specific program which may prepare them for certifiication or state testingnursing.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
This is another profession that attracts many medical assistants that seek a change in their career path. The biggest differences between the two professions are that the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) cares for ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled persons in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes and similar institutions; may work under the supervision of a registered nurse; and unlike the medical assisting profession licensing is required.