Medical Assistant - How to Become a Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant

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Medical Assistant Job Description

 

Medical assistants are a vital part of the team in the offices and clinics of physicians, optometrists, chiropractors and podiatrists. They are responsible for performing many of the routine administrative duties and common clinical tasks. A medical assistant must be proficient at both administrative and clinical duties. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists medical assisting as one of the fastest growing careers.

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Responsibilities

 

The duties of a medical assistant range from answering the telephone to greeting patients and filling out and updating medical records. They also schedule appointments and oversee correspondence and billing.

Common responsibilities of medical assistants include:

  • Preparing patients for examinations.

  • Handling billing and bookkeeping.

  • Managing hospital admission and services.

  • Obtaining patient medical histories.

  • Measuring vital signs.

  • Maintaining. accurate medical records

  • Assisting physicians during procedures and performing basic laboratory tests.

  • Authorizing prescription refills upon physician direction.

  • Educating patients of specialized diets and medications

  • Collecting and preparing laboratory specimen.

  • Reporting to an attending physician or administrator.

In the clinical setting, medical assistants may obtain your medical history, prepare patients for examinations, assist the doctor directly during procedures and perform basic laboratory tests. Duties may vary from office to office, depending on the specific needs of each individual employer. Medical assistants must comply with state laws that differ across the nation.

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Skills

 

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Perceptiveness

Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.

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Working Conditions

 

Although medical assistants can work in a variety of setting, most find employment in a clinic or doctor’s office. This gives them a Monday through Friday work schedule in most cases, although some clinics and doctor’s offices may offer extended evening or weekend hours. Here the medical assistant functions as a valuable member of the patient care team. 

 


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How to Become an Allergist / Immunologist:

 

1. Complete an Accredtited Medical Assistant Training Program (1 - 2 Years)

 

The majority of medical assistants complete a formal training program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). These programs are offered in high school vocational-technical programs, post-secondary vocational schools, community and junior colleges and state colleges and universities. They can take anywhere from 9 months to 1 year for those seeking a certificate and up to 2 years for those looking to complete an associate's degree.

Common areas of study include:

  • Pharmacology

  • Medical coding

  • Ethics

  • Medical diagnostics

  • Patient intake

  • Infection control

  • Anatomy & physiology

Find a CAAHEP Medical Assistant Program

Find a ABHES Medical Assistant Program

 

2. Become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)

 

The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the certification for medical assistants. While it is not a requirement for entry in the field, it is highly recommended as certified medical assistants are typically more competitive in the job market, are offered higher salaries, and have more opportunities open to them than those who do not possess the credential.

To be eligible, (1) current students may take the CMA exam within 30 days of completing their formal education and practicum, (2) recent graduates may take the exam within 1 year of graduation, (3) nonrecent graduates may take the exam if they they apply over 1 year after graduation, and (4) candidates who have previously passed the exam may apply to recertify.

Learn More About How to Apply

The Certified Medical Assistant Exam is comprehensive, covering general, clinical, and administrative categories.  It consists of 200 multiple-choice questions in 4 40-minute blocks.

View the CMA Exam Content Outline

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
The Medical Assistant is responsible for assisting physicians, preparing rooms and rooming patients, triaging patients, obtaining manual vital signs, EKG's, injections and phlebotomy as needed. The Medical Assistant will also schedule...
12.05.2016
The Medical Assistant provides patient care, measures and records vital signs, heights, weights and other parameters, interviews patients, calls prescriptions, prepares patients for exams, assists providers, collects and processes labs and...
12.05.2016
Providing patient centered care Assisting in examination and treatment of patients under the direction of a provider Interviewing patients, measuring vital signs (i.e., pulse rate, temperature, blood pressure, weight, and height)...
12.05.2016
Providing patient centered care Assisting in examination and treatment of patients under the direction of a provider Interviewing patients, measuring vital signs (i.e., pulse rate, temperature, blood pressure, weight, and height) Assisting...
12.05.2016
This position includes a substantial sign on bonus for qualified Medical Assistant and Certified Medical Assistant candidates. Premier Orthopedics (Upper Valley) FT/ DAYS/ 80 hours per pay Summary of Position A Medical Assistant for the...
12.05.2016
The Medical Assistant performs various patient care activities and related non-professional services necessary in caring for the personal needs and comfort of patients. Assists the professional and technical nursing staff by performing any...
12.05.2016
The Medical Assistant performs various patient care activities and related non-professional services necessary in caring for the personal needs and comfort of patients. They assist the professional and technical nursing staff by performing any...
12.05.2016
The Roanoke Valley Health Services (RVHS) Medical Assistant is a part of the outpatient clinics of the hospital and reports to the Clinical Manager and Administrative Director of Physician Practices. He/she will be responsible for providing...
12.05.2016
This position includes a substantial sign on bonus for qualified Medical Assistant and Certified Medical Assistant candidates. Upper Valley Womens Center FT / DAYS/ 80 hours per pay Summary of Position A Medical Assistant for the Premier...
12.05.2016
Medical Assistant Apply Refer a Friend Back Category: Clinical Support Location: Somerville, MA Department: Union Square Employment Type: Full Time Job Type: Union Union Name: SHLABOR -Laborers Local 381 Work Shift:...
12.08.2016
DescriptionCollects vital signs and patient history, collects specimens and performs basic laboratory tests, administers injections and medications as directed by physician in addition to other clinical tasks. Administrative duties include...
12.05.2016
Individuals within this job classification are accountable for providing assistance under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Registered Technologist. The Medical Assistant must be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to...
12.05.2016
As the Medical Assistant at the Palmer Health Center, your essential functions include: Providing patient centered care Assisting in examination and treatment of patients under the direction of a provider Interviewing patients, measuring...
12.05.2016
BLS through American Heart Association JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for providing direct patient care and assisting in the daily operations of the practice/clinic. Performs other related duties as required. QUALIFICATIONS: Education: High...
12.05.2016
Must have one CMA, CCMA, RMA, EMT-Intermediate, or EMT-Param BLS through American Heart Association JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for providing direct patient care and assisting in the daily operations of the practice/clinic. Performs other...
  1. Medical Assistant Melrose, MA Hallmark Health System
    The Medical Assistant is responsible for assisting physicians, preparing rooms and rooming patients, triaging patients, obtaining manual vital signs, EKG's, injections and phlebotomy as needed. The Medical Assistant will also schedule...
  2. Medical Assistant Indianapolis, IN Eskenazi Health
    The Medical Assistant provides patient care, measures and records vital signs, heights, weights and other parameters, interviews patients, calls prescriptions, prepares patients for exams, assists providers, collects and processes labs and...
  3. Medical Assistant Springfield, MA Baystate Health
    Providing patient centered care Assisting in examination and treatment of patients under the direction of a provider Interviewing patients, measuring vital signs (i.e., pulse rate, temperature, blood pressure, weight, and height)...
  4. Medical Assistant Springfield, MA Baystate Health
    Providing patient centered care Assisting in examination and treatment of patients under the direction of a provider Interviewing patients, measuring vital signs (i.e., pulse rate, temperature, blood pressure, weight, and height) Assisting...
  5. MEDICAL ASSISTANT Troy, OH Premier Health - Upper Valley Medical Center
    This position includes a substantial sign on bonus for qualified Medical Assistant and Certified Medical Assistant candidates. Premier Orthopedics (Upper Valley) FT/ DAYS/ 80 hours per pay Summary of Position A Medical Assistant for the...
  6. Medical Assistant Lake Charles, LA Lake Charles Memorial Hospital
    The Medical Assistant performs various patient care activities and related non-professional services necessary in caring for the personal needs and comfort of patients. Assists the professional and technical nursing staff by performing any...
  7. Medical Assistant Lake Charles, LA Lake Charles Memorial Hospital
    The Medical Assistant performs various patient care activities and related non-professional services necessary in caring for the personal needs and comfort of patients. They assist the professional and technical nursing staff by performing any...
  8. Medical Assistant Roanoke Rapids, NC Halifax Regional
    The Roanoke Valley Health Services (RVHS) Medical Assistant is a part of the outpatient clinics of the hospital and reports to the Clinical Manager and Administrative Director of Physician Practices. He/she will be responsible for providing...
  9. MEDICAL ASSISTANT Troy, OH Premier Health - Upper Valley Medical Center
    This position includes a substantial sign on bonus for qualified Medical Assistant and Certified Medical Assistant candidates. Upper Valley Womens Center FT / DAYS/ 80 hours per pay Summary of Position A Medical Assistant for the Premier...
  10. Medical Assistant Cambridge, MA Cambridge Health Alliance
    Medical Assistant Apply Refer a Friend Back Category: Clinical Support Location: Somerville, MA Department: Union Square Employment Type: Full Time Job Type: Union Union Name: SHLABOR -Laborers Local 381 Work Shift:...
  11. Medical Assistant Oklahoma City, OK St. Anthony Hospital
    DescriptionCollects vital signs and patient history, collects specimens and performs basic laboratory tests, administers injections and medications as directed by physician in addition to other clinical tasks. Administrative duties include...
  12. MEDICAL ASSISTANT Tulsa, OK Hillcrest Medical Center
    Individuals within this job classification are accountable for providing assistance under the supervision of a Registered Nurse or Registered Technologist. The Medical Assistant must be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to...
  13. Medical Assistant Springfield, MA Baystate Health
    As the Medical Assistant at the Palmer Health Center, your essential functions include: Providing patient centered care Assisting in examination and treatment of patients under the direction of a provider Interviewing patients, measuring...
  14. MEDICAL ASSISTANT Morganton, NC Carolinas HealthCare System - Blue Ridge
    BLS through American Heart Association JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for providing direct patient care and assisting in the daily operations of the practice/clinic. Performs other related duties as required. QUALIFICATIONS: Education: High...
  15. MEDICAL ASSISTANT Morganton, NC Carolinas HealthCare System - Blue Ridge
    Must have one CMA, CCMA, RMA, EMT-Intermediate, or EMT-Param BLS through American Heart Association JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for providing direct patient care and assisting in the daily operations of the practice/clinic. Performs other...