Interested in learning more about what a medical assistant does? Medical assistants are allied health professionals specializing in clinical and administrative support. It’s an accurate but broad definition that doesn’t clearly convey what working as a medical assistant is like. If you’re passionate about medicine and want to work in the healthcare field, let’s explore a day in the life of a medical assistant. It could be the career you’ve been looking for.
What Is a Medical Assistant’s Job Like?
Working as a medical assistant is different for everyone. Vocational school programs prepare you for both clinical and administrative responsibilities, but some jobs are heavy on one and light on the other. Choose roles that are fulfilling.
What will your day as a medical assistant be like? As a jack-of-all-trades, you’ll be juggling both patients and paperwork as you help licensed healthcare providers deliver timely, top-quality healthcare. Tasks might include:
When clients arrive, office assistants guide them through the check-in process and then hand them off to medical assistants to take them to exam rooms. You’ll help patients change before seeing the doctor, all while updating their medication and allergy lists.
Taking Vital Signs
Vital signs, including temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, are key indicators of health. Trends matter more than one-time readings, so you’ll take them at every visit, so the doctor can keep track of changes. It’s a simple but technical task requiring people skills.
Overseeing the Schedule
Front office assistants make most appointments, but complex visits requiring special equipment or specific tasks need a medical assistant’s touch. As the doctor’s liaison, you’ll be familiar with most procedures and the resources they require, so you’ll often assist with scheduling.
Performing Diagnostic Tests
Many tests once done only in hospitals can now be performed at a doctor’s office. Under minimal supervision, medical assistants are trained to draw blood, perform basic urine tests, and do electrocardiograms. In a cardiology office, you may do them exclusively.
Medical assistants don’t typically work with IVs or oral medication, but they may give patients intramuscular, intradermal, and subcutaneous injections, including vaccinations.
Assisting with Minor Surgical Procedures
Physicians performing in-office surgery need an extra pair of hands to prepare equipment, pass instruments, collect biological samples, and monitor patients during procedures. As a medical assistant, you’ll manage most follow-up care from staple removal to minor dressing changes.
Medical assistants use their clinical knowledge to keep track of inventory and order medical supplies. They keep exam rooms well-stocked, so the items doctors need to perform exams are at their fingertips.
Medical offices can harbor uncommon pathogens, so strict infection control protocols are essential for preventing the spread of illness. Medical assistants are responsible for sanitizing exam rooms, disinfecting shared equipment and sterilizing instruments to keep patients safe.
As a medical assistant, one of your most important responsibilities is to educate patients. As the first and last person patients see when they visit, you’re an ideal source of clinical information. Medical assistants can’t dispense medical advice, but under supervision, they can help clients better understand their treatment plan. You’ll talk to clients daily about a range of health topics from nutrition and self-care to preventive health and medication safety.
Where Do Medical Assistants Work?
The majority of medical assistants are employed in private practices, but as healthcare evolves, they’re taking a more central role. Their versatile skills are a perfect match for most medical settings, including hospitals and clinics. And opportunities are growing as more employers recognize their unique capabilities.
What’s the Easiest Way to Become a Medical Assistant?
Healthcare is a complex industry that requires well-trained staff. Employers prefer hiring applicants with proven skills, and training is quick and affordable. Unlike most jobs in medicine that require a college degree, full-time students can graduate from a vocational school medical assistant program in months, not years. It’s the easiest way to launch a new career in healthcare.
Can a Medical Assistant Become Certified?
Medical assistants are urged to become certified. It demonstrates commitment and shows employers that they have the skills necessary for success. Upon graduation from an accredited diploma program, you’re eligible to sit for one of several nationally recognized exams. It’s the first step in your climb up the career ladder. Later, you can obtain certifications in a broad array of specialties from gerontology to women’s health. Each credential adds to your value as an employee.
What Are the Benefits of a Medical Assistant Program?
There are many benefits to attending a medical assistant program. From a good work/life balance to certification preparation and everything in between. These benefits are a great reason to learn more about our medical assistant program at Peloton College.
Benefit #1: Lifestyle-friendly
Jobs in the healthcare field can take years to train for, but medical assisting students can be work-ready in as little as nine months. It’s an ideal way for busy adults with financial responsibilities to train for a new career without missing too many paychecks. If you must earn while you learn, part-time programs take longer to complete but allow you to work while you study. Why put your educational aspirations on the back burner when vocational schools offer learning options to fit your lifestyle?
Benefit #2: Small Classes
Adult students thrive in small classes. The relaxed atmosphere encourages creativity and gives instructors more time to work with students individually. Instead of being a number in a crowded lecture hall, you’ll receive personalized attention and get to know your peers. Students with questions get the help they need, and no one is left behind.
Benefit #3: Hands-on Education
Vocational training is hands-on. Students learn on the same office and laboratory equipment used in healthcare settings. You’ll enjoy real-world opportunities to practice your skills and gain confidence before you graduate. Nothing will look unfamiliar or intimidating on your first day at work.
Benefit #4: Demonstrates Competency
Without experience or relevant references, job applicants without a diploma will struggle to find work in a competitive market. On-the-job training is costly, so employers prefer candidates with proven skills. Getting a diploma is an ideal way to demonstrate your competency.
Benefit #5: Job Placement Benefits
Vocational schools excel at helping their graduates find jobs. Working with local businesses, they understand their staffing needs. When employers need qualified candidates, schools get the first call. Instead of searching want ads, you’ll have professional advisers to help match you with the best positions.
Benefit #6: Certification Preparation
Vocational schools understand the significance of certification, and they want their graduates to succeed. Not only do they “teach to the test,” but they also support students with extra help and study tips.
The best part about a medical assisting career is its flexibility. You’re free to work in a wide range of settings as a generalist or specialist. What is a medical assisting job like? You can make it fit your passion.
Want to Learn More?
The objective of this Medical Assistant training program at Peloton College is to prepare the student for employment as an entry-level Medical Assistant performing administrative, clerical, and clinical duties within the health care field.
The mission of Peloton College is to be the premier provider of hands-on training and education by providing students and graduates with the necessary skills to secure occupational careers. Contact us today to learn more.