Medical Assistant

Medical assistants provide clerical and laboratory assistance under the direct supervision of licensed health care professionals. They perform patient procedures, such as administering laboratory screening tests, verifying medical documents, and scheduling appointment and hospital admissions.

Medical assistants are provided on-the-job training, but many complete medical-assisting programs in as little as one to two years. Medical-assisting programs cover diverse subjects from accounting to anatomy and some programs often include an internship that provides hands-on experience in healthcare institutions. To become an entry-level medical assistant, a high school degree is required, but formal training is not. However, certified medical assistants with formal education have the best employment and advancement opportunities.

The job outlook as a medical assistant is increasing due to the need for doctors to care for more patients, the increasing rate of medical conditions, and the expansion of technological advances used in allied healthcare institutions.

More Facts on Medical Assistants:

  • Approximately 62 percent of medical assistants work in physician offices.
  • In smaller practices, medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative duties.
  • Most full-time medical assistants work a 40-hours a week.
  • The demand for medical assistants is expected to grow 34 percent over the next 10 years.
  • Medical-assisting programs are offered in community and junior colleges, vocational, and technical schools.
  • Medical assistants with certification and formal training have the best job opportunities.
  • Medical assistants work in private and public hospitals, as well as other care centers and home heath institutions.

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