Becoming a Medical Assistant

The Medical Assistants remain high in demand in the United States over the years. Around 200,000 Medical Assistants could be hired by 2016, if we believe the past media reports. Over the next eight years or so, USA may hire 565,000 Medical Assistants. These professionals perform routine administrative and clinical tasks so that the offices, clinics and healthcare facilities of Physicians and other healthcare professionals run smoothly.

The Medical Assistants are entrusted with both administrative and clinical responsibilities. From calling and answering to filling out and updating the medical records, they handle all tasks carefully. They also assist the doctors during patient consultations and perform basic laboratory tests.

Education Requirements: The aspiring Medical Assistants may go to a community college or a vocation school to complete the requisite education. Since Medical Assistant programs are easily available, they won’t find it difficult to get proper education and training. These programs offered at vocational-technical high schools, post-secondary vocational schools, and community and junior college, generally take 1-2 years.

Courses cover anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology apart from medical transcription and record keeping. They are also required to gain knowledge about medical law, ethics and various healthcare issues. After completing the education, they can go for internship at a Physician’s office or hospitals or other healthcare facilities to gain work experience.

Certification: After completing the education and internship, the aspiring Medical Assistants must take the certification exam, as many states in the US make the certification mandatory during the hiring process. The certification program is being offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Salary & Job Outlook: The job outlook for Medical Assistants remains bright. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected job growth has been estimated at 29% during the period 2012-22. The average salary for Medical Assistants was $29,610 in 2013.