What is a Medical Assistant?
Career Description Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information 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.
A Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant
- Clean and sterilize instruments and dispose of contaminated supplies.
- Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean.
- Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission.
- Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures.
- Interview patients to obtain medical information and measure their vital signs, weight, and height.
- Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
What a Medical Assistant Should Know
These are the skills Medical Assistants say are the most useful in their careers:
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Types of Medical Assistant
- Ophthalmic Technician
- Ocular Care Aide
- Ophthalmic Aide
- Doctor Assistant
- Health Information Coder
Job Opportunities for Medical Assistants
In the United States, there were 634,400 jobs for Medical Assistant in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 29% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 184,000 new jobs for Medical Assistant by 2026. There will be an estimated 94,900 positions for Medical Assistant per year.
The states with the most job growth for Medical Assistant are Utah, Arizona, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
What is the Average Salary of a Medical Assistant
Medical Assistants make between $24,790 and $47,250 a year.
Medical Assistants who work in Alaska, District of Columbia, or Washington, make the highest salaries.
How much do Medical Assistants make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$42,010|
What Tools do Medical Assistants Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Medical Assistants:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Word processing software
- Spreadsheet software
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Database software
- Intuit QuickBooks
- MEDITECH software
- Medical procedure coding software
- Epic Systems
- Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
- Medical condition coding software
- Electronic medical record EMR software
- Billing software
- GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
- Appointment scheduling software
How do I Become a Medical Assistant?
What kind of Medical Assistant requirements are there?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Medical Assistants Work
Below are examples of industries where Medical Assistants work:
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those thinking about becoming a Medical Assistant might also be interested in the following careers:
Career changers with experience as a Medical Assistant sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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