Becoming a Clinical Health Assistant
Clinical Health Assistants provide clinical and administrative support to supervising professionals such as physicians, nurses etc. in a health care setting. Their responsibilities include collecting and preparing specimens of bodily fluids and tissues for laboratory testing, measuring patients’ vital signs, recording patient’s clinical data, administering medications and injections, managing medical equipments, preparing examining rooms, assisting doctors during medical procedures, maintaining a safe environment, acting as liaison between the patients and service providers so on and so forth. They also perform other duties as assigned by the medical setting.
Clinical Health Assistants work in a variety of settings such public and private hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, laboratories, rehabilitation facilities etc. They may have to work in the night shifts and even during weekend.
To become a Clinical Health Assistant, the aspiring candidates need to earn a certificate or diploma program in medical assistant from an accredited institution, which often takes about a year to complete. The aspirants may also learn through on-the-job training. The students can pursue a degree program in a related field for better employment opportunities.
Clinical assistants study anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, patient care, medical ethics, coding and billing, office procedures, specimen collection, handling, and processing etc.
Clinical Health Assistants can obtain exam based certification from the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), the American Medical Technologists (AMT) and the National Health Career Association (NHA).
Clinical Health Assistants possess a wide range of traits such as attention to detail, active listening skills, ability to establish and maintain cordial relationship with patients and medical staff, empathy towards patients, ability to maintain calm and react effectively in emergency situation, excellent verbal and written communication skills, competent in computer operating etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
Job outlook for a Clinical Health Assistant remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 31% from 2012 to 2022. The average annual salary of a Clinical Health Assistant was $30,550 in May 2012.