The certified medical assistant is one of the few areas of growth in our current economy.
In fact, in many ways the current economy is increasing the number of available certified medical assistant jobs. With a greying population and increased access to health care through President Obama’s health care reforms, there is more and more demand for those working in the health care field. With the struggling economy, physicians are looking for lower-cost alternatives to traditional physician’s assistants and nurses, and medical assistants can fill just this role.
One of the best things about becoming a certified medical assistant is that you will be able to find a position almost immediately. If, for example, you have a great deal of administrative experience, but are having trouble finding a job in this tough economy, becoming a certified medical assistant will provide you with an almost automatic job. In addition, medical assistants can find jobs virtually anywhere. They are needed anywhere that health care is needed and, since there are sick people everywhere, there are jobs anywhere.
Because of the unique needs of medical practice, having certified medical assistants is essential. Without specialized training, traditional administrative assistants would be unable to understand medical charts, records of prescriptions and other tasks typical of an administrative job in a medical setting. A nurse or physician’s assistant, on the other hand, would be in many ways overqualified for the position. Training as a certified medical assistant will give you the ability to handle the challenges of medical assistant jobs today.
In general, medical assistant jobs are available in two areas. On the one hand, medical assistants work in hospitals and larger clinics, where they serve as a part of a larger administrative staff. These staffs function similarly to the administrative staff of any other organization, except that the specialized knowledge of the medical assistant is required to work with the files, perscriptions and other specialized information. Of course, there will be opportunities for promotion to higher administrative positions, much like in any other large administrative post.
The other place where medical assistant jobs are available are in small clinics, even including a single physician. In such a case, a medical assistant might be in the position of running most of the administrative aspects of the clinic and even opportunities to work with patients. They will also be responsible for labelling and preparing specimens for laboratories. Medical assistants also assist physicians with a number of tasks involving patients, including preparing patients for examinations, explaining procedures to patients and even performing examinations on patients, in those jurisdictions where this is allowed. Often, a job in a smaller clinic will be more varied than in a larger hospital.
Medical assistant jobs pay fairly well, and the average salary in 2010 was $30,709 per year. After fifteen years, the average salary rose to $35,862. Salaries tend to be higher in clinics, where a certified medical assistant learns to specialize in the area of the physician, and, of course, if you were promoted to a senior administrative position in a hospital, the salaries could be significantly higher.