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The 7 Must-Knows of Medical Assistants

Anyone who ever entered a hospital has likely interacted with a medical assistant. Often, they’re the first faces you see when you come into medical facilities. They’re in clinics, hospitals, private practices, care facilities and more.

What many people don’t know is how versatile, skilled and hardworking medical assistants are. They take on a wide range of tasks in medical facilities in both clinical and medical roles. There’s a booming demand for medical assistants because of their versatility. Let’s get to know them a bit better.

They’re Multitalented

Medical assistants are some of the most adaptable healthcare professionals, whose job consists of performing duties of many different roles.

One hour they may consult with a patient about medication, while the next they could brief a doctor on a patient’s chart. They might be drawing blood, then updating a medical database. This constant shifting requires medical assistants to be agile. They must be comfortable changing their demeanor when talking to patients and doctors respectively, while also knowing the ins and outs of the facility in which they work.

Medical assistants have two traits above all else: flexibility and commitment.

They’re Solid Support Players

Medical assistants are the first line of staff in medical facilities. They admit patients, organize charts, check vital signs, and prepare patients for a doctor’s diagnosis. Doctors, on the other hand, would be in chaos without the organizational and administrative help of medical assistants. Without medical assistants, doctors would be more prone to misdiagnosing patients and other pitfalls.

A medical assistant is to a doctor as a first mate is to a captain. They need each other to run a smooth operation.

Cooperation between the two roles is vital to providing suitable healthcare.

They’re Techies

When you think of medical assistant characteristics, you might not think of the most highly technical professionals in the workforce. While they aren’t writing code or developing apps, medical assistants do need to be very well versed in everything IT to a) ensure electronic medical records are accurate and updated, b) ensure operations run smoothly and c) ensure they stay on pace with ever-evolving healthcare technology.

Professionals in certified medical assistant jobs use computers in almost every part of their job today. From scheduling appointments, handling insurance information, or updating patient medical records, effective technical knowledge is essential.

Some medical assistants even use computerized systems and tools for assisting with actual medical procedures, but most only need to know their facilities’ operating system. However, the use of digital equipment is becoming more and more common in medical facilities in America. Security measures, federal compliance standards, and health and safety regulations are some factors that will drive technology in medicine as these topics grow more important in our modern world.

Medical assistant duties of the future will be as much digital as personal.

They’re Analyzers and Communicators

Unbeknownst to many, medical assistant jobs include a fair amount of data analysis. Medical assistants regularly work with medical records and charts, billing and insurance information, and medication. This means they need to be able to understand, process, and most importantly communicate all this information to doctors and other medical professionals.

Data analysis of this kind plays an integral role in patient diagnosis. Doctors need accurate information to effectively treat patients, so medical assistants must be as precise and detail-oriented as possible.

Medical assistants must also have excellent interpersonal skills. They must be able to clearly communicate patient data to doctors, often in urgent situations. Equally important, they must communicate diagnosis and medical information to patients themselves, which can be more difficult than communicating with a fluent doctor.

“Bedside manner” is of utmost importance when relaying information to patients. Using the right tone, asking the right questions, and reading peoples’ feelings are just a few of the interpersonal skills needed in medical assistant positions.

They’re Wanderers

Well, kind of. Medical assistant jobs are in demand across the country. While medical assistant programs provide training, the job can be based anywhere. To many medical professionals, this is one of the reasons medical assistant jobs are so attractive.

Medical assistants work in hospitals, doctor offices, long-term care facilities, clinics, nursing homes, and an array of other medical settings. Many medical assistants move between multiple different settings throughout their career. Relocation isn’t so easy in other jobs, but medical assistants can go almost anywhere.

Finding the right setting can be a journey for any medical assistant. Personality plays a large role in this search, but as a medical assistant’s career develops his or her skills will increase and network will expand, opening evermore opportunities.

They’re Certified and Diversified

One of the main attractions to a medical assistant career is that it’s far from a boring job. Working in any medical setting isn’t likely to be boring, but medical assistants have the bonus of choosing specialty fields in which to advance their career.

Once certified medical assistant training is completed, many medical assistants choose to work in general hospital or clinical roles. When they’ve been in a position for a while and have attained the proper skills and experience they can choose to get certified in one of the following specialties they’re passionate about:

  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Family Medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Internal Medicine
  • OB/GYN
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Transplantation Surgery
  • Urology
  • Women’s Health

They’re Hot Commodities

Earning a medical assistant certification is the first step to pursuing this exciting and increasingly complex career. As healthcare technology grows, medical assistants must grow with it. Those that can keep up are determined, flexible and passionate will enjoy the bounties of their training.

Medical assistant jobs are projected to grow by 29 percent over the next ten years. One of the reasons for this demand is because they are so versatile. Medical assistants often go on to other medical specialties, pursue a nursing degree, advance to be lead medical assistants or instructors. The constant career advancement of individual medical assistants means that there are always medical assistant positions available. It’s sort of a circle of life of the healthcare field.

With massive opportunity ready and waiting, choosing to become a medical assistant is among the best healthcare careers to pursue. There’s no better choice than pursuing your medical assisting career at WellSpring School of Allied Health. WellSpring offers hands-on training in real medical settings, convenient day and evening program schedules, and all the support you’ll need. Contact Wellspring today to get your medical assisting career underway.

Written by Joseph Sauer