Medical assistant jobs are in high demand due to a number of factors. Medical assistants (MAs) are trained in both clerical and clinical tasks. This means that they are able to multi-task which is a big plus for employers, especially for small practices. Certified medical assistants are also preferred by employers due to the danger of medical malpractice suits if they employ workers who have no formal training or certification. These are all excellent reasons why medical assistant jobs are in such high demand today.
In fact, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical assistant jobs are projected to grow 34 percent through 2018. The BLS states that the U.S. healthcare industry is expanding due to the growth and aging of the population as well as the increasing prevalence of health conditions such as diabetes and obesity. This growing need for quality and cost-effective healthcare explains why medical assistant jobs are expected to increase in number the near future.
Types of Medical Assistant Jobs:
Medical assistants help the practice run smoothly by performing various clinical and administrative tasks. In small practices they often handle many duties but in larger practices, they may be assigned to specific medical assistant jobs such as:
Administrative Medical Assistant Jobs –
These MAs manage important files such as medical records and insurance forms. They arrange hospital admissions and laboratory procedures for patients. Other administrative tasks may include answering the phones, scheduling appointments, bookkeeping and handling billing.
Clinical Medical Assistant Jobs –
Clinical medical assistants take medical histories, record vital signs, explain treatment procedures and prepare patients for examinations. They may also assist physicians during examinations. Their responsibilities may include assisting physicians in instructing patients about medications and preparing and administering the proper medications. Their duties vary depending on State laws about medical support personnel.
Specialized Medical Assistant Jobs –
Optometric medical assistants, ophthalmic medical assistants and podiatric medical assistants are some examples of specialized medical assistant jobs. These MAs have specialized clinical duties that they are trained for.
To give an example, an ophthalmic medical assistant assist ophthalmologists by conducting diagnostic tests, applying eye dressings and showing patients how to use and care for contact lenses.
Tips for Finding the Best Medical Assistant Jobs:
Theoretically, medical assistant jobs should be easy to find. Not only is there a high demand for MAs, strictly speaking there is also no formal education required. Some doctors are willing to hire and train high school graduates as medical assistants.
However, the reality is that if you want to find higher-paying medical assistant jobs, having some form of education or training is best. You can increase the likelihood of your getting a good job by enrolling in a medical assistant program in a junior college, community college or vocational school.
After finishing a course, certification by a national organization such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) or Association of Medical Technologists (AMT) is the next step. Certification maximizes your chances of getting hired.
The Top Reason Why Medical Assistant Jobs Are in High Demand:
Medical assistant jobs are increasing in number not just because MAs are trained to handle many different tasks. The real reason why they are important to a practice is because they provide emotional support and the “human touch” in a medical environment. They put people at ease at the doctor’s office. Physicians are busy people and patients are often afraid of asking them “silly” questions even when they do not fully understand the medical terminologies that the doctor uses. MAs help bridge the communication gap between doctors and patients which is why medical assistant jobs are in high demand today.
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