Medical Assistants Overview
There's more to medical assistant jobs than checking bedpans and cleaning rooms after patients are discharged or moved. While attending to a patient's basic hygiene needs and assisting higher-level medical personnel with carrying out procedures are their primary responsibilities, medical assistants are called upon to carry out a variety of administrative and clerical duties as well. Medical assistants on this level are often responsible for creating and maintaining accurate patient records, taking and recording vital signs, and assisting nursing professionals with performing patient care tasks. Medical assistants can work in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, doctor's offices, assisted living facilities and patients' homes through a home health care program. Medical assistants can work any time of the day or night, depending on the employer's needs.
Medical Assistant Education Requirements
A high school diploma and a post-secondary certificate from an accredited medical program are required for most medical assisting jobs. You need basic reading and math skills gained in high school in order to complete administrative tasks and record information
in patient files. Because you'll be taking care of multiple patients at a time and assisting various medical professionals, strong organizational skills and attention to detail are imperative for being successful in this vocation. Although it typically isn't required that you have previous experience in the medical field, experience dealing with difficult people and working under stressful conditions is extremely useful for medical assistants.
Medical Assistants Job Market
The outlook for new medical assistants entering the workforce is positive. According to statistics, the demand for medical assistants is estimated to increase by 29 percent over the next 10 years, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors in the health care industry. In 2012, there were an estimated 560,800 jobs with opportunities across all 50 states. Similar positions include Hospital Medical Assistants and Physician Assistants .
Medical Assistants Salary
The median salary for medical assistant jobs in the United States is $29,370. Medical assistants who work for larger employers tend to earn higher salaries and receive better benefits than those working for smaller practices.