It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is one of the biggest industries in America and teeming with plentiful job openings. What might not be as obvious is the fact that you can have a prosperous career in the field without becoming a doctor or nurse. One occupation that meets this criterion is that of the medical assistant.
A medical assistant is someone who aids doctors, typically in offices and healthcare clinics, with administrative and clinical tasks, according to the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).
Medical assistants do things like checking blood pressure and directing patients through the office, in addition to a host of administrative tasks. Other common responsibilities of medical assistants include maintaining patient records, scheduling appointments, sanitizing medical equipment and helping physicians with examinations.
Given that medical assistants are crucial to the function of healthcare offices and clinics, they are found in a wide variety of medical settings. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 59 percent of medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, while another 15 percent work in hospitals.
Medical assisting is one of the fastest growing occupations in the country and is expected to stay that way for the foreseeable future. The number of medical assistant jobs is expected to increase by 23 percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The increased demand is due in large part to the growing number of healthcare offices and clinics, along with the aging baby boomer population and the healthcare they require. In addition to enjoying a promising employment outlook, the occupation was listed among U.S. News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs.
As far as education is concerned, most employers require medical assistants to have a certificate from a postsecondary education institution. Medical assistant training programs are available at many community colleges and trade and vocational schools, and can be completed in less than two years.
There is also no additional waiting to complete a residency program because externships are often part of the curriculum and completed at the same time as the coursework. National certification may be required following the completion of a training program, depending on the state. Certification can make a medical assistant more desirable in the eyes of employers.
Medical assistants graduate with the knowledge and experience needed to excel in the healthcare industry. They are trained in both clinical and the administrative aspects of running a medical office or healthcare clinic. Medical assistants receive additional training on the job during their first positions.
Now that you know a little bit more about what a medical assistant is and does, we will examine a few traits that successful medical assistants embody in their jobs.
Medical Assistants need Good Communication Skills
Communicating is a fairly significant part of a medical assistant’s job. Medical assistants communicate with doctors, patients and each other to keep the office or clinic functioning effectively.
Medical assistants who work more on the administrative side may serve as intermediaries between the doctor and patients or the doctor and health insurance companies.
At any rate, it is essential that a medical assistant can communicate clearly and effectively with everyone in the office or clinic. Phone skills are also useful in the medical assisting occupation, as 83 percent of medical assistants reported using the telephone every day, according to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).
Medical Assistants are Team Players
Medical assistants are, in many ways, the glue that holds physicians’ offices and healthcare clinics together. With this in mind, it is important that medical assistants are team players and willing to do the work that is necessary to efficiently provide patients with the proper care.
Feeding off the prior point about communication, part of being a team player is communicating with those with whom you work. In the O*NET survey of medical assistants, 84 percent of medical assistants reported being in “constant contact with others.”
Being a team player can increase synergy among you and your co-workers, in addition to the obvious advantage of completing the work required to run the office or clinic.
Medical Assistants have Strong Attentiveness to Details
Paying attention to detail is another quality that successful medical assistants exemplify in their work. In a survey of medical assistants conducted by O*NET, 75 percent of medical assistants agreed that being “exact or accurate” is “extremely important.”
This is not limited to cases in which medical assistants are permitted to administer drugs to patients and need to accurately measure the dosage. It is also crucial in the maintenance of patient records, scheduling and taking vitals, to name a few other examples.
Accuracy and attention to detail are important for the wellbeing of the patients and healthcare professionals alike.
Medical Assistants have a lot of Compassion
Compassion is another trait that successful medical assistants embody. Medical assistants are often responsible for ensuring that patients are comfortable during their visit to the office or clinic.
As mentioned earlier, medical assistants serve as a point of communication between patients and doctors. Offering compassion and understanding of a patient’s concerns can go a long way towards the patient’s overall satisfaction with the medical care.
Medical assistants can take comfort, pride and satisfaction in knowing that they helped change a patient’s life for the better.
Medical Assistants always have a Willingness to Learn
Medical assistants are responsible for performing a multitude of different tasks throughout doctors’ offices and healthcare clinics. They are skilled in both clinical and administrative aspects of running an office or clinic.
With this in mind, it is important for medical assistants to show the willingness to learn new skills as required by the doctors under whom they work. Changes in technology used in offices and clinics also necessitate medical assistants adapting to such updates.
Being jacks of many trades can provide medical assistants with a degree of variety in the everyday happenings of their jobs. In many cases there are things within an office or clinic that medical assistants can help with, even though they might not be in the job description.
Armed with a stout arsenal of skills, medical assistants can work in many different realms of medicine, exploring different disciplines and discovering what they are passionate about. Medical assistants have the opportunity to specialize in a certain type of medicine, teach students who also want to be medical assistants or even become the office manager. Many also go back to school to expand on what they learned as medical assistants and land an even better job.
Do the traits above sound like you? If so, medical assisting might be a great career choice for you to break in to the healthcare field.
Launch your medical assistant career at Coyne
Perhaps you feel that the traits in this post describe you to a tee and you are now thinking of studying to start your career as a medical assistant. For prospective medical assistants in Chicagoland, there is one clear choice for a training program: Coyne College.
Coyne College is one of Chicago’s top skilled trade education institutions and is proud to offer its medical assistant program to future healthcare professionals.
Coyne College offers day and night classes for both programs to accommodate your busy schedule. Both programs are offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison Streets.
Coyne College’s medical assistant program thoroughly prepares you to enter the healthcare field as a medical assistant. The program can be completed in as little as 54 weeks.
As a medical assistant student at Coyne College, you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed as a medical assistant. Some of the topics covered in the program’s curriculum include:
- Medical Terminology
- Anatomy and Pathophysiology
- Basic Insurance and Billing
- And more!
Coyne College’s medical assistant program also helps give its students a leg up on the competition by featuring a six-week portion dedicated to electronic health records.
You will learn the ins and outs of medical assisting in an environment where instructors dedicated to helping you succeed surround you. Coyne’s instructors are highly knowledgeable and have years of meaningful experience in the workforce.
All medical assistant students are required to complete an externship following the completion of all of the necessary coursework.
Following the completion of the medical assistant certificate program, you will be ready to enter the workforce as a medical assistant in any number of healthcare settings.
Coyne College is dedicated to helping its students find gainful employment following the completion of their respective programs. To that end, Coyne offers a wealth of career services and job placement help for its students, including networking and résumé advice.
With more than 110 years of experience in helping aspiring skilled trade professionals realize their dreams, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students gain employment after they finish their studies.
Students who enroll at Coyne College receive a well-rounded, first-rate education that provides them with the tools to succeed in the workforce as a medical assistant.
Start your journey to bettering the lives of patients today by visiting http://www.coynecollege.edu/.