5 Traits of Successful Medical Assistants

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
  • Pharmacology
  • 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 https://www.coynecollege.edu/

The Definitive Top 5 Reasons to Become a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist


Are you entering the workforce for the first time or looking to start a new career in the healthcare industry? Then becoming a Medical Billing and Coding Specialist might be for you! Believe it or not, there are bountiful jobs to be had in one of the nation’s largest industries that don’t involve the time and money needed to become a nurse or a doctor. One such position needed at every medical office is a medical billing and coding specialist. Medical billing and coding are two processes that are vital to a medical office’s functioning.

A medical biller’s job deals with the billing process of medical services. But what about the billing process and where do medical billers fit in? In short, medical billing entails preparing billing claims to ensure that the medical practice receives proper reimbursement from insurance companies and healthcare programs (i.e. Medicare and Medicaid) for treatment they provide to their patients.

Similarly, medical coding also deals with billing insurance and other healthcare providers for reimbursement. However, medical coding is the process of translating medical diagnoses and procedures into universal codes listed in the International Classification of Disease, Tenth Edition (ICD-10), which is published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Each diagnosis and procedure has a unique code, which makes it easy for insurance companies to pay out the proper amount for services rendered. It is imperative that medical offices receive sufficient reimbursement to meet the costs of providing patient care.

While entering codes and billing information comprises the bulk of a medical billing and coding specialists’ jobs, they may also perform aggregate tasks, such as serving as a common contact between the doctor’s and the office’s billing departments.

Many medical offices have a single person who handles both the medical billing and the medical coding. As such, many training programs offered at community colleges and vocational schools teach the two aspects of the medical office together.

Entering the medical billing and coding field typically requires the completion of a training program and passing a certification test, though requirements vary depending on one’s place of employment.

Now that you know the basics of what a medical billing and coding specialist does and why they’re important to the health of a medical office (pardon the pun), let’s delve into the top five reasons you should pursue this career path.

  1. Job opportunities now and into the future

    • Medical billing and medical coding are functions performed at every hospital, immediate care center and any other medical office where patients are diagnosed or receive treatment. As the healthcare industry continues to boom, the necessity for medical coders will continue to increase, much like that of other healthcare professions. 
    • The number of medical records and health information technicians is anticipated to increase by 15 percent through 2024 relative to 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS attributes the increase in demand for billing and coding specialists to the increase in the number of people who have insurance. 
  2. Heavy workload

    • Medical billing and coding specialists enjoy a fruitful job outlook now and into the coming years. There’s a reason for that. Every patient who visits a hospital, immediate care center or other medical facility has information that needs to be documented. 
    • Per data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 83.6 percent of adults and 93 percent of children had contact with a healthcare professional in 2015. Given that many of the individuals in those percentages made multiple visits to healthcare professionals, that is a lot of coding and billing work that needs to be done. More claims for reimbursement means more work for medical billing and coding specialists. 
  3. Limited time in school

    • One of the perks of becoming a medical billing and coding specialist is that you can be a part of the prosperity the healthcare industry is currently enjoying without spending years in medical or nursing school. The bulk of employers require only a certificate or an associate degree, which can be achieved through completing a training program at your local community college, vocational school or even online institutions. 
    • Such programs can be finished in 18 months or less and will cost you only a small fraction of what you would spend studying to become a nurse or doctor. The educational foundation of anatomy and medical terminology can also be useful should you decide to advance your career in healthcare beyond the role of a medical billing and coding specialist. 
  4. Potential to work anywhere

    • On top of the seemingly endless options of physical offices in which you could work, there is also the possibility that you can work from home. Working remotely is becoming increasingly common in the United States. According to a recent Gallup survey, 43 percent of Americans reported doing at least some work remotely in 2016. 
    • Medical billing and coding is no exception. Because everything is online, the need to commute to an office is no longer completely necessary. The availability of working remotely depends on your employer, but medical billing and coding specialist is a role that is certainly possible to be worked remotely. 
  5. Making a difference in patients’ lives

    • Doctors and nurses may get all of the glory of patient care, but it is only one aspect of the everyday happenings at medical offices and facilities. There is much work that is done behind the scenes, such as billing and coding, that makes healthcare possible. 
    • The impact of your daily tasks also stretches beyond the confines of the United States. The ICD-10 codes that accompany each procedure and diagnosis not only serve as a record of maintenance and billing purposes, but are also used to tracked health trends locally, nationally and even globally. As a medical billing and coding specialist, you can take pride and satisfaction knowing that you are playing an integral role in the world’s healthcare. 
    • With your newfound knowledge of the medical billing and coding profession in tow, the next step of your journey to a new profession lies in selecting the right training program. 

Coyne College sets students up to achieve their dreams

Coyne College is one of Chicago’s top vocational education institutions and is proud to offer its Medical Billing and Coding Specialist program to students like you who are interested in the profession.

In the program, you will learn the ins and outs of electronic health recordkeeping and master the skills needed to secure an entry-level job in a plethora of different medical settings. What is even better, you can complete Coyne’s training program in as few as 48 weeks. In less than one year’s time, you can be ready to start your new career in the rewarding field of healthcare.

As a student in Coyne College’s medical coding and billing specialist program, you will obtain sufficient and applicable knowledge of subjects such as:

  • Medical terminology
  • Health records management
  • Medical coding
  • Insurance procedures
  • Healthcare business communications
  • Office administration
  • And more!

You will learn the profession from Coyne’s knowledgeable instructors, who have substantial, invaluable workplace experience to foster your personal growth.

Do you have a job or another obligation that you fear might interfere with your ability to complete the program? Don’t worry because Coyne College offers both day and night classes for the program in order to accommodate your busy schedule. The medical billing and coding specialist program offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison Streets.

With more than 110 years of experience in helping students realize their dreams, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students land externships at the conclusion of their studies. 

Coyne College offers an array of career services and job placement help for its students, including mock interviews, externships and resume help. These resources can help students secure entry-level employment after completing the program.

Are you ready? The time is now to start on the path to playing a vital role in the healthcare of millions of people. Take your first step toward your new career as a medical billing and coding specialist by visiting https://www.coynecollege.edu/.

Surprising Trends in the Pharmacy Industry

Here are a few trends that pharmacy technicians will have to adapt to in the coming years:

The Rise in Personalized and Specialized Medicine

Advances in medical science and technology have made it possible for doctors to prescribe medications depending on the patient’s genetic makeup. The rise in personalized medicine is forecasted to continue as the technology becomes more commonplace.

The Affordable Care Act has made medical insurance more accessible to a wider population of Americans. More people being covered by insurance means more people can pay for specialized medication, which increases the amount of work to be done by pharmacy technicians.

Implementation of 3D Printing

As 3D printing technology becomes more widely available, it makes sense that the pharma industry’s use of the tool will become standard in many places. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first 3D-printed drug in 2015.

More people having access to 3D printing could also mean expanding the marketplace and smaller biotech companies could use the technology to effectively manufacture pharmaceuticals.

Shrinking Number of Distribution Channels

As mentioned earlier, medicine has become incredibly specialized and will only continue to become more so as time goes on. Because of this, experts in the field anticipate the specialized drugs’ availability being limited to a few select distributors.

If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, a stellar education is the best way to set yourself up for success. Luckily for you, Coyne College offers a comprehensive Pharmacy Technician training program. Coyne has experienced professors who will teach you what you need to know before you enter the exciting field of pharmacy. What’s more, the program can be completed in as few as 48 weeks, saving you time and money. Get started today by learning more at https://www.coynecollege.edu/.

Pros and Cons of Working as an HVAC Technician

Air conditioning, heating and refrigeration are components of our homes and other buildings that we don’t think much about—that is, unless something goes wrong. When mishaps occur, we rely on a special group of skilled trade professionals to restore these systems to working order. Who are they, you ask? HVAC technicians.

Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) technicians spend their workdays installing, maintaining and repairing various indoor climate control systems that we often take for granted. If not for these dedicated professionals, these life-improving conventions would not be as common as they have become.

You will see HVAC technicians working in a variety of settings, from schools to factories to, yes, residential buildings. They play a vital role in the construction of any building that is going to include HVAC systems because they handle the installation. The systems installed in a building dictate what it can be used for. 

The duties HVAC technicians perform are important because help maximizes efficiency of HVAC equipment, which ensures the optimal function of such systems throughout their respective buildings.

If you want to become an HVAC technician, typically you will want to enroll in and complete an HVAC training program at a community college or vocational school. The good thing is that you will have no problem finding such a program since they are growing in number to meet the increasing demand for experienced HVAC professionals.

HVAC training programs tend to last anywhere from six to 24 months to finish, though it depends on the program.

As a student in an HVAC training program, you will learn the basics of the HVAC trade that will prove invaluable during your apprenticeship. Following the completion of a program, you will receive further training on the job. There are aspects of the work you simply need to learn on the job.  

With some basic information about the occupation out of the way, we shall now dive into some pros and cons of choosing the HVAC technician career path.

PRO: HVAC Has Great Job Outlook and Compensation

It is certainly no secret that people will be using refrigerators, heating systems, and air conditioners into the foreseeable future. Because of this fact, the employment prospects of HVAC technicians are expected to burn brightly for quite some time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), HVAC technician employment is expected to increase by 15 percent through 2026. 

The continuing growth of construction, both commercial and residential, is a factor in the projected growth, in addition to the increasing prevalence of service contracts. These contracts help stabilize the workload and income for technicians year-round by scheduling maintenance appointments.  

To complement the anticipated job growth in the field, HVAC technicians also receive higher salaries compared to those of workers in many other occupations across America. Per BLS data, the median salary of HVAC technicians as of May 2016 was $45,910. The highest 10 percent of earners in the HVAC field earned upwards of $73,000.

The BLS notes that the job prospects for aspiring HVAC technicians who finished an educational training program were more promising than those of their peers who did not complete such a program. The point is that if you wish to succeed in your career as an HVAC technician, a training program will help provide the base on which you can build your rewarding career.

PRO: HVAC – Work and Live Almost Anywhere

Keeping in mind that heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration are utilities most of us use on a daily basis, the number of these systems in the United States is massive. To keep all of these systems up and running, HVAC technicians and the services they render are needed across the country.

Paired with the growing demand, the commonness of HVAC systems will allow you to work and live practically anywhere you want to. With this abundance of geographic options to choose from, it is worth noting that California, Ohio, Florida, Texas and Illinois have been dubbed the five best states for HVAC technicians to work in.

PRO: With HVAC – Get Paid While You Learn the Job

As we mentioned in the opening section, if you choose to become an HVAC technician you will receive extensive training on the job as an entry-level employee following the completion of your training program. During this time, you will earn approximately half of the salary that your fully trained journeyman counterparts do.

The great part about it, however, is that you will typically receive pay raises as you master more and more skills of the job. The experienced professionals from whom you learn will transform you from a novice who is right out of a training program into a full-fledged HVAC technician with a wealth of practical knowledge.

PRO: HVAC Makes a Difference in the Environment and in the Lives of Customers

Many of the jobs HVAC technicians do are aimed at improving the efficiency of HVAC systems and reducing the negative effects their operations have on the environment. HVAC technicians execute a variety of tasks to meet these environmentally friendly ends, including:

  • Swapping out old filters for new ones
  • Installing dehumidifiers where they are needed
  • Installing thermostats that help save energy and money
  • Installing heat pumps to help reduce carbon emissions

Properly functioning HVAC systems not only reduce environmental impact, they also help save consumers money and provide them with optimal comfort in their homes and work settings. This improves their quality of life, which is invaluable.   

CON: HVAC Occasionally Has Long Hours

As with many other workers, HVAC technicians have times of the year that are busier than others. HVAC technicians commonly work heavy amounts of overtime during peak heating and cooling seasons. 

Logging long work hours is undoubtedly strenuous for HVAC technicians and their bodies, though it is not without benefit, as they are compensated accordingly to reward their hard work. Think of it as a double-edged sword.

CON: HVAC Has Occupational Safety Hazards

Working as an HVAC technician does involve some risk of bodily harm. HVAC technicians suffer more on-the-job injuries than workers in many other professions because they are often working with heavy equipment, extreme heat and/or cold, not to mention they are subjected to hazardous materials from time to time.

HVAC technicians can achieve an excess of different certifications signifying competence in working with different machinery. That definitely helps cut down on injuries. Those who work with refrigerants are required to pass a test given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Certifications help make HVAC work environments safer, but they don’t eliminate workplace mishaps completely, so just be aware of this when considering a career as an HVAC technician.

Now that we have laid out some of the pros and cons of the profession, all you need is a place to start your education and your career.

Start Your HVAC Career the Right Way at Coyne Collge

Coyne College is one of the best-skilled trade schools in Chicago and surrounding area Coyne is proud to maintain this status by thoroughly training aspiring HVAC-R technicians in its diploma program in the skilled trade.

Coyne College offers its HVAC-R program during the day and at night to accommodate your busy schedule. The program can be completed in as few as 42 weeks and is offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison.

Coyne College’s HVAC-R program will prepare you to perform the essential functions of an HVAC-R technician, such as installing, maintaining and repairing HVAC-R systems in a multitude of settings.

In Coyne College’s HVAC-R program, you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the HVAC-R profession. Some of the required courses in the program’s curriculum include:

  • Gas Heating
  • Commercial Controls and Applications
  • Troubleshooting Systems and Installation
  • Air Conditioning, Electric Heat and Heat Pumps
  • And More!

In the program, you will become well experienced in the intricacies of HVAC-R by learning from experienced instructors who have significant experience in the field. At the end of the HVAC-R program, you will be ready to enter the workforce as an HVAC-R technician.

With 118 years of experience in helping aspiring skilled trade professionals become competent members of the labor force, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources to help students gain employment at the conclusion of their training programs. 

Coyne College also offers its students career assistance, including mock interviews, externships and resume help. These resources can help students secure apprenticeships after completing the program.

At Coyne College, you’ll receive a well-rounded education that will serve as the foundation of your skilled trade career. What are you waiting for? Schedule a tour or start your HVAC career today by visiting https://www.coynecollege.edu/.