Related job titles are: Medical Assistant, Certifed Medical Assistant (CMA), Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Doctor's Assistant, Medical Office Assistant, Optometric Assistant, Clinical Assistant, Ophthalmic Technician, Optometric Technician, Outpatient Surgery Assistant.
How Much Does a Medical Assistant Make? | Medical Assistant Salary
The median yearly salary for medical assistants was $28,860 in May 2010 (the most recent data available). This median salary is simply the salary where half the employees earned more and half earned a lesser amount. Employees in the lower 10 percent had an annual salary less than $20,810, and those employees in the top 10 percent earned greater then $40,190.
What Does a Medical Assistant Do? | Job Description
Medical Assistant is one of U.S. News and World Report "100 Best Jobs of 2013." Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.
Electronic health records (EHRs) are changing medical assistants' jobs. More and more physicians are adopting EHRs, moving all their patient information online. Assistants need to learn the EHR software that their office uses.
Medical assistants take and record patientsí personal information. They must be able to keep that information confidential and discuss it only with other medical personnel who are involved in treating the patient.
Medical assistants should not be confused with physician assistants, who examine, diagnose, and treat patients under a physician's supervision.
How to Become a Medical Assistant?
Through on-the-job training, a physician or another medical assistant in the office may teach the new assistant medical terminology, the names of the instruments, how to do daily tasks, how to interact with patients, and other tasks that help keep the office running smoothly. An assistant also learns how to code both paper and electronic health records and how to record patient information. It can take several months for an assistant to complete training, depending on the facility.
Medical Assistant Classes and Courses | Degree Programs
Some medical assistants graduate from formal education programs, and employers may prefer such training. Programs are available from community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, or universities and take about 1 year to complete. These programs usually lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community and junior colleges offer 2-year programs that lead to an associate's degree. All programs have classroom and laboratory portions that include lessons in anatomy and medical terminology.
Medical Assistant Jobs | Who is Hiring?
Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to spur demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients. Assistants will likely continue to be used in place of more expensive workers, such as nurses, to reduce costs.
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