A medical assistant is a person who performs clinical or administrative duties by helping a physician or other professionals in the health industry in various ways. There are different types of tasks that a medical assistant must do on a regular basis. A medical assistant measures the patient’s important signs, gives them the required medicines and injections and keeps a proper medical history or record of each patient.
He/she also keeps various types of medical instruments safe and prepares them prior to any operation. Another job of a medical assistant requires him collect samples of the patient’s blood, fluids or stool and send them to the specific laboratory for testing. Becoming a medical assistant involves you in a career which is very versatile in nature as there are various types of jobs that are available in this field.
This kind of a job requires the person to be able to multi-task and understand his/her job profile completely before actually starting work. There is a lot of scope for advancement and a hard-working individual is sure to go a long way in this field.
If a person is ready to do all these errands and be of help to those who are practicing in the field of medicine, then he should think of becoming a medical assistant. There are certain steps and guidelines which must be followed before you become a medical assistant.
Ways To Become A Medical Assistant
People, who are aspiring to become a medical assistant, can choose from two types of educational programs which are made available just for them. They can either opt for a 2 years degree program or a 1 year certificate course which will help them to become a medical assistant.
It helps them to understand the required medical terms, basic mathematics and science, teaches procedures of first aid and also gives a proper knowledge about medical billing and other related information.
Getting a Certificate
Many health care institutes and hospitals wish to hire those medical assistants who have passed the certification exam and are a certified medical assistant. Any medical assistant can sign up for this exam and receive the certificate.
However, after you have passed the exam and received a certification, a renewed certification must be acquired after every 5 years. A certified medical assistant will always be preferred over a medical assistant and will have much more job opportunities to choose from.
Understanding the Duties
It is very important for a medical assistant to understand the various types of duties and responsibilities that are allotted to him. A patient’s well being and good health depends as much on the medical assistants who take care of him as it does on the doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
If the medical records of a patient are not kept properly or the medical instruments to be used in a surgery are not cleaned and kept hygienically, it can affect the surgery or the patient’s health directly.
Also, a medical assistant has to maintain and check records, instruments, bodily fluids of not one but many patients at the same time and should keep each of them separately. Thus he should have a strong presence of mind and be very attentive in his work.
A medical assistant may have to help the institute or hospital with billing and coding work and he should be able to carry out all this work in a diligent manner. If a person thinks that he is capable of doing all this and more, only then should he apply to become a medical assistant and take up this job.
Though it is not compulsory, but it is always recommended to get some training before you actually start working. Doing an internship in a hospital, health care institute or even at a physician’s chamber will help you to get the required training. Many employers seek those kinds of employees who have received proper training and understand their job profile from the very beginning.
Knowing the work schedule
A medical assistant generally works on all days except his day off once a week. However, it is important to keep in mind that the assistant should be ready to work night or day shifts along with working on weekends if necessary. He may have to put in additional hours of work when needed and may have to work for longer hours in case there is an emergency.
A health care institute or hospital will always prefer those medical assistants who have proper work experience and know their work on a professional level. After you have completed your studies and received the required certification, it is best to start working under the direct supervision of a physician so that you get proper experience and first-hand knowledge about what is to be done.
A medical assistant needs to understand that studying about his duties and actually doing them are two entire different things. Practical knowledge will always help much more than book knowledge and only after having performed his duties in reality, will he understand what exactly needs to be done. If a medical assistant is working without a certification, then he gets a certification only after having completed 5 years of work experience.
Being a very versatile kind of job, it can prove to be quite beneficial for many people. The reason behind this is that a medical assistant gets a thorough knowledge and training in not only the clinical or medical tasks that involves patient care but also makes him an expert in the administrative tasks that he has to undertake.
A certified medical assistant can work in any type of medical office. Knowing how to work on the administrative and clinical front opens up various types of job options for the individual.
Another benefit associated with this job is that it is quite easy to become an assistant when compared to the kind of study and hard work that other medical practitioners have to do. Also, after working in this field you can judge for yourself if you wish to become a doctor or surgeon and continue your studies and training in this field.