If you are considering becoming a medical assistant, before entering this seriously demanding field, make sure that you possess personal qualifications for it.
You need to be a good multi-tasker who can do multiple things at once.
You need to care about others since the essence of your job is helping other people.
It should be satisfactory for you your help is of crucial importance in other people’s lives.
Also, serious medical interventions do occur around medical assistants so you must feel strong in the presence of wounds, blood, and obvious patient pain to do perform your job effectively.
If all these seem like by your personality, you should try your luck and become one of these wonderful people.
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Medical assistants do both clinical and administrative work, although some settings focus on either or.
This depends on the size of the facility and the amount of daily work.
They can be found in podiatrist, physician and chiropractor offices, as well as hospitals and clinics.
The exact duties depend on their specialty and the practice itself; still, they include:
- Taking a patient’s personal information and patient history and recording it in the medical records.
- Taking vital signs, symptoms and providing first aid.
- Helping physician in examinations.
- Giving patients injections if requested by the physician.
- Scheduling appointments.
- Sending blood to laboratories for testing
- Doing some laboratory work, etc.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in Missouri
Besides the fact that post-secondary education is not required to become a medical assistant, most of those interested in this field go to school for two years at a community college or vocational school.
They understand the need to get the right education before pursuing a job as a medical assistant.
Medical assistant’s programs are both abundant and flexible, usually, those that last 1 year result in a certificate or diploma, and those that last 2 years result in an associate degree.
Lessons that the programs include are related to both administrative and medical field:
- Anatomy and physiology,
- Medical terminology
- Transcription and recordkeeping,
- Accounting and insurance processing
- Laboratory techniques,
- Clinical and diagnostic procedures
- Administration of medications
- First aid.
Various organizations accredit medical assisting programs and only those should be chosen, regarding the fact that they allow you to sit and pass the certification exam.
Accredited programs also include an internship that provides practical experience.
Even though the credentials are not required by law, all employers seek educated individuals and people are enrolling in programs and take certification examinations to become professionals in this field and know what to do upon entering the clinic.
Medical assisting schools to enable you to do different tasks since programs have lessons in the classroom as well as laboratory work and offer a broad and intensive understanding of healthcare.
There are 3 programs accredited by CAAHP and 7 programs accredited by ABHES in Missouri.
No matter whether you choose a diploma, certificate or two-year associate degree programs you will get the knowledge that will make you eligible to sit for the required national certification examination.
The two favorite credentials in medical assisting are the Certified Medical Assistant credential through the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Registered Medical Assistant credential through American Medical Technologists.
The most widely recognized professional certifications for medical assistants in the U.S. are:
- National Center for Competency Testing: The National Certified Medical Assistant
- National Healthcare Association: Certified Clinical Medical Assistant
- The American Association of Medical Assistants: Certified Medical Assistant credential
- The American Medical Technologists: Registered Medical Assistant credential
- The American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants: Podiatric Medical Assistant, Certified
- The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel In Ophthalmology: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant
Some community colleges and technical schools also offer online options with the possibility of passing the theoretical part of the certificate online.
Furthermore, various colleges offer evening and weekend programs for those who are already employed.
When it comes to testing, the examination happens three times a year, in January, June, and October and it can be done either on paper or the computer.
Getting a Job
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects the data related to medical assisting job opportunities and salary, to see how much they differ through various states in the USA.
Medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, and clinics, but they might find work in outpatient care centers and offices of other health practitioners which makes this profession offer huge job opportunities.
Medical assistants are in demand as it is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the US, so now is the time to try your luck with this career.
Medical assistants might find work in:
- BJC Healthcare
- Hospital Corporation of America
- Kindred Healthcare Incorporated
- Mercy Health
- Saint Luke’s Health System
Medical assistants remain in demand in the state of Missouri and the employment prospects are great in comparison to all other healthcare occupations.
The salary of medical assistants is partially dependent upon their level of experience, working hours and daily responsibilities, night shifts and working during weekends and holidays, location of the hospital and the social status of the residents.
Medical assistants throughout the state get various salaries, but the difference is not too significant.
The table below shows the salary of a medical assistant in the state of Missouri annually.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
As healthcare develops and technology evolves, it is exciting to be a medical assistant.
They have the responsibility of performing many tasks at once, such as taking patients’ vital signs, completing medical histories, and performing routine administrative tasks, among many other things.
This is a career that requires multi-tasking while working both with patients and doctors and performing clinical and administrative tasks.
Medical assistants need to be eager to advance in office technology, innovative tools to treat patients and the latest medical developments.
So, if you want to become a medical assistant, make sure to start from getting appropriate education which will help you fulfill your career goals.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Medical Assistant