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Published On: Sat, Aug 22nd, 2020

Help others with a career as a Medical Assistant

What is a medical assistant?

Medical Assistants are health workers who, thanks to their education, can carry out the routine clinical and administrative tasks of a physician’s office, clinic, hospital, etc.

These professionals are dedicated to providing help and assistance to doctors and other professionals working in a health center to ensure that they perform their duties smoothly and efficiently. 

In other words, thanks to the medical assistants, the different health centers where they work can operate more efficiently in terms of administrative logistics, communication with the patients, attention to the public, and other clinical activities. 

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting is the career with one of the greatest growth projections in the area of health services, for which the number of jobs will increase exponentially over the years.

It is presumed that this is due to factors such as the increase in the population of older adults who require preventive health care services. And as the number of patients increases, so does the demand for physicians and healthcare facilities that need to hire staff to perform administrative and certain clinical tasks.

The working hours of these professionals will be governed by the place where they work, and they may have a full-time or part-time job.

photo/ CDC

Areas of expertise

To do his or her job properly, the medical assistant needs to have a general knowledge of the following subjects:

  • Attention and general care of the patient. 
  • Administration, accounting, and organization.
  • Health insurance processing.
  • Transcription.
  • Computer skills, coding, and data processing.
  • Anatomy and functioning of the human body.
  • Medical terminology and instrument names.
  • Pharmaceutical principles.
  • Application of injections.
  • Measurement of vital signs
  • Basic laboratory techniques.
  • First aid.

What duties do they perform?

The medical assistant’s work is quite flexible; it varies depending on the needs, size, and specialty of the place where they work. It also depends on the physician’s instructions and supervision and state law.

What is a constant, is that the medical assistant must take on several tasks at once, and that is where its importance lies.

Administrative tasks:

  • Record the patient’s personal information.
  • Record and update medical history.
  • Make relevant calls and answer phones.
  • Scheduling appointments and activities.
  • Performing the billing process.
  • Filling out insurance forms.
  • Receiving patients.
  • Coordinating hospital admissions.
  • Keeping the accounts.
  • Attention, communication, and orientation to patients.
  • Control of the waiting room.
  • Acquisition and control of medical supplies. 

Clinical tasks:

  • Preparing patients for exams.
  • Explain treatment, medications, and special diets to patients.
  • Assist physicians with exams.
  • Measuring vital signs.
  • Giving patients injections.
  • Taking blood samples.
  • Preparing laboratory samples.
  • Remove sutures.
  • Change dressings.
  • Prepare patients for x-rays
  • Remove contaminated material.
  • Sterilize and organize instruments.

Workplaces

They mainly work in physicians’ offices, followed by hospitals (state or private), ambulatory healthcare centers, and clinics. But it is not limited to these places; they can also work in medical and diagnostic laboratories, chiropractors and podiatrists’ offices, educational centers, government agencies, nursing care facilities, medical research centers, insurance companies, employment services, and so on.

Medical Assistant Profile

It is a professional characterized by comprehensive training, skills, and qualities. Its work goes hand in hand with ethics and vocation of service to others. Also, a Medical Assistant must be proactive, dynamic, and able to perform several activities simultaneously effectively.

Communication: You must be willing to listen to the needs and requirements of patients. You must have the ability to explain to patients their condition in a simple way and the necessary treatment. You must also be able to answer questions in a friendly and respectful manner. 

Organization: You must adapt to the different scenarios presented and solve problems, always maintaining the order and organization of the elements without leaving any of its responsibilities unattended. 

Professionalism: Your work must follow the instructions and indications of the supervising physician. You must also respect the confidentiality of the information that comes into its hands, demonstrating ethics and respect for patient privacy. 

Technical skills: The Medical Assistant must ensure that his or her clinical work is carried out accurately, for which reason he or she must have the theoretical knowledge and practical training required to carry out the activities assigned to him or her.

Handling of terminology and technology: Besides understanding the medical language (anatomy, diagnostics, instruments, etc.), the Medical Assistant must also understand and handle the electronic health record software to encode the information. 

As you can see, the profession of a Medical Assistant is very broad, allowing specialization according to the place where the professional works can be practiced in different establishments. 

For example, City College offers a medical assisting program in Florida that covers all the fundamental knowledge areas for professional practice. 

You will also undergo practical training to familiarize and instruct you in the different scenarios and situations that can arise in medical practice. You will be trained as a professional with ethical principles, human quality, adequate treatment to the patient, and a high sense of professionalism, so that you can be an integral Medical Assistant, with all the necessary skills and qualities.

Since most health centers prefer to hire people who have studied in comprehensive programs like the one offered at City College, having your degree will give you the best chance to get the job you want. 

Author: Digital Solutions

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