What Is A Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants are health professionals who assist a physician or medical practitioner in their daily duties. They can either be responsible for administrative tasks, clinical tasks, or some combination of the two. Depending on the size of the facility in which they work, their roles may require them to specialize within a particular field of medicine. In most cases, this specialization is expected of those professionals working in larger facilities.
What Does It Take To Become A Medical Assistant?
Unless you wish to specialize in a particular field of medicine, there is no formal training required to become a medical assistant. Having a high school education is required to be eligible for employment, but from here on out training is administered on the job. The ease of access to this career is one reason why it is growing at a rapid rate; almost 31% according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Those who wish to acquire more professional training and improve their job prospects can enroll in short training programs; these could last up to a year and provide you with additional knowledge and skills needed for your job. This includes developing an understanding of hospital equipment and patient health assessment techniques, while simultaneously understanding how to use office software to perform administrative duties.
Before you can practice your profession legally however, you are required to pass the licensing exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants. This certification is proof of your ability, and employers look favorably upon these credentials. These exams are offered three times a year, so you should be able to one that fits within your schedule.
Why Should You Become A Medical Assistant?
Individuals who are interested in becoming professional healthcare providers can use their time as a medical assistant to evaluate their interest in the field. It is easy to move in and out of the field, therefore the risk is minimal. However, you must be ready to work long hours and have a diligent and efficient work ethic, since the responsibilities on your shoulders can be quite important.
Medical Assistant Salary
Unfortunately, because the profession of a medical assistant is not highly skilled, the pay is not as competitive as with other professions in the medical field. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics stated that the median medical assistant salary for 2010 was about $28,860 annually. However, if you choose to build upon your experience and enroll in undergraduate degree programs, your upward mobility and payment significantly would improve.
Becoming a medical assistant is a career that requires little training and offers an excellent way to evaluate personal interest in the medical profession. However, a person should be aware of some drawbacks: the work hours are long and the upward mobility of a person is limited. It is recommended that a person transition towards a more stable academic and professional health-based career soon after entering this field. Unless you are taking up this job as an additional means of income.