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How To Become a Medical Assistant


Are you looking for a career in health care? Are you interested in working with patients, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals? Medical assistants are high in demand, finding employment across the United States in a variety of settings. Medical assistants are hired to work in medical offices, hospitals, urgent care centers, insurance companies and more. Students interested in a medical assisting career
can be trained and ready for work in less than two years on average.

What is a Medical Assistant

Current popularity is soaring to grasp the medical degree of a certified medical assistant. Not to mention, a large salary, plenty of employee benefits, job security, with room to grow. According to the BLS, or the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 180,000 jobs are making way for new medical assistants in the US between 2016-2026, with an median hourly wage of over $16/per hour, primarily based on experience and location of course. However, the average wage is accompanied by employment benefits such as health and dental insurance, vacation pay, retirement benefits, and more. Not everyone has the skillset to work in the medical field, but if you find yourself dedicated and service orientated, becoming a certified assistant might be just the job for you.

Medical assistants are trained health care providers who work closely with patients, nurses and doctors providing assistance with medical care, procedures, patient education and other duties associated with running a medical office. Medical assistants perform duties such as obtaining vital signs, taking a patient’s medical history, assisting with procedures, giving injections, managing equipment and medical supplies. They also perform administrative tasks such as maintaining patient charts, medical billing, managing medical records and filing insurance claims.

Choosing a Medical Assisting Career

Individuals who have an eye for detail, are able to follow both written and verbal directions, possess good communication skills and the ability to learn technical skills, such as giving injections and assisting with medical procedures, should consider a career in medical assisting. There are different types of medical assistants including both administrative and clinical medical assistants. Clinical medical assistants typically work directly with patients and health care providers assisting with more hands-on care where administrative medical assistants provide assistance running the practice by handling and completing paperwork, performing medical billing and coding, obtaining insurance approvals, and other general operations of the medical office.

Medical Assistant Education Requirements

Although there are no formal education requirements for medical assistants in many states, most employers prefer to hire those who have successfully completed a medical assisting training program. Medical assisting courses and training is offered as a certificate or diploma program and as an associate degree. These training programs are offered through most community colleges, technical schools, vocational training centers and universities. Training programs vary from one to two years on average. High school students interested in pursuing a career in medical assisting should take biology, anatomy and chemistry classes in high school to help prepare for their medical education and career. Medical assisting training programs include both classroom and laboratory portions which provide the student with both the knowledge and skills required to be a successful medical assistant.

Salary of a Medical Assistant

It’s important when deciding whether or not to pursue a career of becoming a medical assistant to know if the cost of an education in the field is worth it. This factor can be incredibly delicate since it can decide whether or not you make it or break it career wise. In most high medical locations, housing can be expensive and without a high paycheck you may end up losing yourself in bills. Aside from that, you’ll find medical assistants earn a median salary of $34,000 and more experienced assistants earn roughly $45,000.

Medical Assistant Job Outlook

The BLS states that the demand in medical assistant is to grow about 29 percent from 2016 to 2026. Due to this high demand, healthcare occupations are to grow nearly 25 percent as well. The main reasons behind this job growth are increasing medical care availability to the general public, the growing age of baby boomers, and the rise of medical documentation requirements.

The Paths to Becoming a Medical Assistant

There are three main categories when entering the assisting medical field: hybrid programs, unofficial on-the-job training, and on campus training. Although you can become a medical assistant with only a GED or high school diploma on hand, employers look for more serious applicants with medical assistant certifications. The most popular places to search for accredited programs include the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).

Training - Formal Training With an Accredited Program

Sumner College offers a proper medical assistant training program.

Academic Programs

Associate Degree in Nursing
Practical Nursing
Medical Assisting Program

Campus Location

Cascade Station Campus

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