What Does a Medical Assistant Career Look Like?
Have you been dreaming of a career that will allow you to help others every day? Well, as a medical assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to work in the healthcare field, where you can make a difference while supporting physicians and patients. But what does this job entail, and how much does a medical assistant make?
To help you understand what a medical assistant is, here’s a brief guide on what a medical assistant career looks like, including what’s expected of these professionals, where they typically work, and how much they earn.
What is a medical assistant?
A medical assistant is someone who performs a wide range of tasks to help doctors and nurses do their jobs. They also help patients feel relaxed and comfortable during their appointment.
You’ll find these professionals in various clinics, hospitals, medical offices, ambulatory care facilities, and treatment facilities. And because they’re needed in so many different settings, you can find medical assistant jobs no matter where you’re located.
What does a medical assistant do?
When you read a medical assistant job description, you’ll quickly realize that this isn’t a boring position by any means. In fact, if it’s a dynamic job that you’re after, this might be the perfect fit.
Medical assistants are trained to handle both clinical and administrative duties. Therefore, in addition to learning how to use medical equipment and how to perform tasks like giving a patient an injection, you also learn how to use software that plays a critical role in keeping track of each patient’s care.
Typical duties of a medical assistant
What you’ll do as a medical assistant will depend on where you work. Different types of facilities and medical offices will have different types of equipment and tools that are used to diagnose and treat patients. Also, state laws will dictate what you can and can’t do in this role.
Generally, a medical assistant role might include the following duties and tasks:
- Preparing a patient for an exam, and assisting the doctor during the exam
- Measuring a patient’s vital signs
- Performing certain lab and diagnostic tests
- Talking to a patient about medications, treatments, procedures, diets, etc.
- Recording a patient’s medical history, and keeping their records up-to-date
- Preparing the exam room and sterilizing medical equipment
- Arranging for a patient to be admitted to the hospital
- Answering phones and scheduling appointments
- Completing insurance paperwork and working on medical billing
As you can see, the great thing about being a medical assistant is the fact that you get to experience the best of both worlds: in addition to supporting the office staff with administrative tasks using technology, you also get to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable while providing important services in the exam room.
Keep in mind that there are limitations on what a medical assistant can do. For example, you won’t be able to evaluate, diagnose, or treat patients, and you won’t be able to interpret test results.
Is a medical assistant a healthcare professional?
Yes, a medical assistant is considered a healthcare professional. You’ll be able to work with physicians in various medical fields and facilities, and the many medical assistant duties you’ll fulfill will help patients directly as well.
Where do medical assistants typically work?
Some of the many places where medical assistants work include:
- Doctor’s office
- Specialist’s office, such as OB-GYN, ophthalmologist, chiropractor, podiatrist, etc.
- Outpatient facility
- Physical therapy facility
- Nursing home
- Diagnostic lab
Are medical assistants in demand?
They most certainly are! Employment in this field is expected to grow by 19%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, this is a smart career choice because you likely won’t have to worry about being able to find job openings.
Also, medical assisting is a fast-growing career because more facilities of all types are expected to open around the country. These will care for patients of all ages, including the elderly population, and they’ll need tech-savvy, compassionate, and skilled individuals who can tackle a diverse set of tasks with ease and confidence.
How much do medical assistants make?
On average, medical assistants earn roughly $14.69 per hour or $35,850 per year.
It’s important to keep in mind that, because you can work in so many different healthcare settings, your medical assistant salary might be more or less than the average. For example, the highest earners in this field make an average of around $50,580 annually.
Train to become a medical assistant at IBMC!
After learning about medical assistant duties and salary range, if you decide that this sounds like the perfect career for you, it’s time to dive into the right training program that will give you the expertise you need to land the job of your dreams.
At IBMC, we offer a clinical medical assistant program that can help you jumpstart a career in the healthcare field. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to learn more.