Top Medical Assistant Programs
- Ross Medical Education Center Click for Recommended Degree Program
- Herzing University Click for Recommended Degree Program
Finding your place in the working world is more and more difficult these days. The primary reason has very little to do with the current economy and future prospects; it has more to do with the huge variety of careers available to individuals. There are so many places you could end up settling down for a career (happily), it is hard to choose just one and go for it. The economy and job market are factors in your choice but you can pretty much get past those considerations by looking at the medical field as your go to sector of job choices.
Medical Assisting as a Career
If you have been to a doctor’s office any time in the last few decades, you’ll have worked with a medical assistant as soon as you entered the building. They are generally the individuals sitting behind a desk with paperwork, fax machines, copy machines and multiple computers surrounding them. They are also the individuals that greet you, explain what you need to do to get ready for your visit with the doctor and schedule follow up appointments. From an outsiders view, this seems like a simple job that anyone could do, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
You’ll work in one of two areas; administrative or clerical medical assisting, or clinical medical assisting. The first will put you in a position to do what you are most familiar with. Paperwork, composing or transcribing letters, scheduling appointments, submitting insurance forms, handling mail for the office, typing up patient’s charts, handling the accounts receivable and payable work and keeping medical records.
If instead you go down the path of a clinical medical assistant, you have a few different things you’ll focus on in addition to doing some of the previous tasks shared by administrative medical assistants. In addition you’ll also work with patients directly performing basic procedures such as sterilizing instruments, maintaining treatment rooms, assisting during physical exams, performing ECG’s and obtaining vital signs.
Learning the Job
As you can see, the career is a bit more complicated than most medical assistants make it seem. You’ll need to attend some form of formal education to enter the field, but you’ll be happy to learn that most medical assistants don’t move beyond an associate’s degree to start working. More often, you can get your training through a community college, vocational school or welfare-to-work programs. You’ll train specifically for the type of medical assistant you want to be and upon completion you’ll need to pass a medical assistant certification exam.
Most medical assistants are already holding down jobs to stay afloat that they aren’t exactly in love with, leading to furthering their education to enter this field. If you are in this situation, you’ll want to look at earning your certification or degree from an online degree program. Any of the previously mentioned forms of earning your degree should offer most of your classes as online courses and they will ensure that you can balance your personal schedule and your educational schedule side by side. With an income ranging in the mid $30,000 area per year, you have plenty of room to grow and earn a higher income and you will generally have the option to use this particular field as a launching point to move into a different field in the medical sector. Again, through continuing education, or moving to a new career within medicine, you’ll be able to balance your work schedule, personal life and your educational demands by attending an online college. Online degree programs are easier than ever to attend and the interfaces are so streamlined that you most likely won’t need any walkthrough on how to complete your online education once you start.