Not all jobs are the same. Do you want just any job, or do you want one that gives you the chance to make a real difference in the lives of others and your own? Maybe the idea of working in the health care field appeals to you, but you can’t afford to spend four or more years earning a degree? If the answer is yes, then maybe a career as a medical assistant may be the right career decision for you.
What is a Medical Assistant?
Medical assistants are vital members of any health care team in diverse medical settings. They work with other health care professionals performing various administrative and practical roles essential to patient care. One minute, a medical assistant is helping patients to schedule a follow-up appointment, and the next, drawing blood in the examining room. This ability to take on many different roles makes a medical assistant a valuable asset for any medical practice.
What are the requirements to be a Medical Assistant?
The educational requirements for medical assistants differ for each state. Still, most employers only hire medical assistants that are nationally certified by American Medical Technologists (AMT), the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), or state-certified by an organization like the California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants (CCMA).
- AMT certification offers several routes. The only option for those new to the medical field is to complete an approved 720-hour instructional course that includes a 160-hour externship component and then take and pass the certification exam.
- AAMA certification requires anyone who sits for the certifying exam to be a graduate of a medical assistant training program accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
- CCMA certification has several requirements before applicants are allowed to take the exam. These requirements for those who haven’t worked as a medical assistant before include being over 18, having an up-to-date CPR certificate, and being a graduate of a medical assistant program recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Bureau for Private and Postsecondary Education.
What are the Medical Assistant job responsibilities?
There is no single medical assistant job description for every position because of the wide range of skills that medical assistants can provide. Here are some of the most common roles for medical assistant jobs:
Office-side administrative responsibilities of Medical Assistants
- Scheduling initial appointments and arranging any follow-ups
- Conducting new patient in-takes, including medical history and insurance information
- Updating patient medical files
- Making arrangements for in-patient hospitalization or off-site testing
- Handling billing and keeping track of invoices
Hands-on and clinical responsibilities of Medical Assistants
- Checking patients’ symptoms and vital signs
- Helping doctors with a variety of medical procedures, including check-ups and examinations
- Prepping medical equipment for use
- Collecting patient specimens, including bloodwork
- Administering medication, including injections, under the direction of another licensed medical provider
- Performing routine tests, including ECGs
Why should I be a Medical Assistant?
Flexibility and job security are two of the biggest reasons becoming a medical assistant makes sense as a career.
There are medical assistant jobs in every community, giving you the opportunity to find a good position where you already live. However, if you ever decide to move to a new area, you have the security of knowing that you will always be able to find a job quickly. Today, medical assistants are in demand, and the number of new jobs continues to grow.
Where are the Medical Assistant jobs near me?
When you become a medical assistant, the job opportunities are endless, and in California they are rising.
Eisenhower Health is offering a $5k sign-on bonus* for MAs in California. Relocation is a major career decision, and we want to help our nurses achieve a healthy work-life balance. Apply today to receive great benefits and jumpstart your career at Eisenhower Health.
*First installment of the bonus pays out with the first paycheck, and then the remaining installment pays out at one year of service. Valid for external new hires only. Part-time positions will receive a prorated sign-on bonus. Some restrictions apply.
Originally posted on 8/3/2022