Even though many young people believe that medical assisting offers a stable and fulfilling job which can lead to future salary increments and an abundance of job opportunities it is not a career for everyone.
It is a job that can make you feel proud of performing it, which has numerous positive sides, but on the other hand, it is a vocation that demands a lot of refraining and renunciations, flexibility and continuous learning and advancing which is not the often desire of younger generations.
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Before deciding whether this vocation suits your personality, you should know that medical assistants work every day with doctors and patients and without the compassion and commitment for a medical career they cannot succeed.
Ambulatory clinics, physician offices, and hospitals are their places of work, and their responsibilities might include both clinical and administrative obligations, which are determined by the employer.
They are the people who are responsible for the office’s smoothly functioning.
Medical assistants collect data to be used in diagnosis, offer health education to the patients and assist in handling equipment.
The certified medical assistants are also allowed to administer medications, perform radiography and diagnose and plan patients care.
Becoming a Medical Assistant in South Carolina
Unlike some other US states, South Carolina has adopted specific guidelines that regulate the types of activities that medical assistants can perform.
These are the requirements and tasks that doctors can assign to medical assistants:
- routine nature duties that do not require a specially-licensed professional
- the physician must be available for assistance if needed,
- medical assistants must wear a visible badge with their name and position written.
Furthermore, employers look for specific employment requirements to be sure that future employee can perform the job of a medical assistant competently and capably, so more and more young people are entering some of the medical assisting programs available throughout the state.
Those programs cover topics of health sciences, patient care, medical law, laboratory procedures, and pharmacology.
Their curriculum is designed to prepare students for the successful performance of all the medical duties and to make them more eligible candidates for job applications.
Medical assistant schools and medical assistant training programs in South Carolina allow students to choose between shorter kind of education, so that they can start working immediately or the longer one that offers them more complete knowledge and experience, but is more time-consuming.
In the classroom, they have lessons related to anatomy and physiology, laboratory and students learn skills such as taking vital signs, administering EKGs, and drawing blood samples.
The accredited associations who offer these kinds of programs are:
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
They can become Certified Medical Assistants (CMA) after passing the CMA Exam which includes questions from three main subject areas related to medical assisting.
Later on, the employers determine requirements for maintaining continuing professional education, which can be achieved by retaking the CMA exam or earning 60 re-certification points.
Getting a Job
The job opportunities for medical assistants are vast and they can look for a job in hospitals, trauma centers, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and private clinics.
However, many of the medical assistant’s employers require that they have qualifications such as:
- finished a medical assistant certification program
- medical assisting credentials accredited by certain organizations
- Associate of Science degree focusing on medical assisting
- Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in medical assisting
- Advanced academic degrees in the field of medical sciences
If they possess these qualifications, medical assistants will have improved chances of getting the job, and can even negotiate the salary.
Medical assistants may look for job opportunities in:
- AnMed Health in Anderson
- Spartanburg Regional Medical Center
- The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston
- McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence
- Bon Secours Saint Francis Hospital in Charleston
- Musc Medical Center in Charleston
- Greenville Memorial Medical Center
- Roper Hospital in Charleston
Medical assisting vocation demands a lot of renunciations during the process of education and should result in a satisfying salary.
It is the occupation that is growing very fast, thus affecting job growth.
The approximate annual medical assistant salary in South Carolina is $30 978 since entry-level salaries are much lower than the salaries of experienced workers.
The lowest salary of medical assistants is in Sumter $ 30 877, while the highest in Rock Hill $ 33 988.
As the job offers are on the rise, the salary of medical assistants can become even more satisfying.
The table below shows average salaries for medical assistants in major cities of South Carolina, presenting the difference from one place to another:Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|Hilton Head Island,SC||$32,069|
Regional Salary in South Carolina
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Charleston-North Charleston, SC||1,950||$38,430||$18.48||$47,310||$30,420|
|Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC||530||$35,180||$16.92||$45,700||$20,800|
|Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC||780||$35,520||$17.08||$42,680||$29,710|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
This vocation is among the top fastest-growing occupations and medical assistants with certification can look for a job that suits them best and which offers the best conditions.
What would be their duties depends on the size, location, and practice specialty as well as on the personal characteristics and qualifications of a medical assistant.
Those who are more educated, trained and eager to advance in this field play a very important role in performing effectively daily obligations and are given more serious and responsible tasks.
Their job is to calm down and understand the feelings of distressed patients, to communicate well while interacting with doctors, nurses, patients, and pharmacists and to be detail-oriented when updating medical data.
Medical assistants are required to handle both administrative and clinical duties, such as answering patients’ questions over the telephone, greeting patients and instructing them, assisting doctors and other medical staff, drawing blood and taking samples to the lab and preparing patients and equipment for surgeries.
There are many reasons for people who are trying to decide whether this career is right for them to try their luck by becoming medical assistants.
This is a vocation with a lot of job opportunities, a salary high enough for the decent living and numerous benefits that go with it.
So, if you possess compassion and empathy towards people in need, this is an ideal occupation for you without any doubts.