Medical Assistant Careers Explained
October 16, 2013
When people think of careers in the medical field, their minds usually register the most obvious profession: becoming a physician or a doctor. Though it is true that doctors are responsible for much of the success attributed to the medical field, not to be forgotten is the support staff composed of medical assistants who help in ensuring that everything in a medical procedure goes smoothly.
Medical assistants are not exactly nurses, contrary to popular belief, but they do share in doing similar tasks. There are a number of kinds of medical assistant careers, including but not limited to medical data assistants, nursing assistants, home health aides, caregivers, medical transcriptionists and medical billing clerks. Each job requires specialization of particular skills honed in medical assistant schools.
Reputable medical assistant schools are usually those also offering full doctorate degrees in their curriculum as well. Instructors are keen on imparting the most informative and instructive method of learning through on-the-job training. Medical assistant training is rigorous and intensive. There is much care given in attention to detail, as medical assistants are eventually put in charge of clerical but essential tasks. These include everyday errands such as collecting bodily fluid samples for testing, assessing vital signs, administering injections, and handling most medical supplies. They may also be in charge of tracking a patient’s history.
A few decades ago, medical assistants were almost always limited to clinics, but many now seek tenure with doctors employed in private practice as well as both private and public hospitals. Thanks to wider acceptance of their skills and capabilities, there are more employment opportunities for them.
A medical assistant salary can be from $17,000 to $57,000 annually, depending on experience. It goes without saying, of course, that the job is not an easy one. Experienced medical assistants with good reputations may even be allowed to take on other tasks like taking x-rays or administering local anaesthetics on patients. In the cosmetology industry, some medical assistants are licensed to perform non-surgical and non-invasive procedures. Despite this, majority of medical assistants in the country do still provide specialized support for physicians and surgeons.