Becoming a medical assistant is not difficult; however, it does require a two-year education in the field of medicine or on-the-job training, hard work and learning a diversity of skills. It is important to note that employment for this kind of assistant is growing each year.
Responsibilities of an assistant include helping doctors during exams, preparing patients for examinations and explaining procedures to patients. Other requirements are recording a patient’s weight, height, temperature and blood pressure and taking a patient’s vital signs and medical history.
Other responsibilities are performing lab tests, collecting blood from patients, removing and apply new dressings, taking out sutures, administering injections and coordinating a patient’s admission to the hospital.
In addition, assistants greet patients, update and file health records; as well as help patients complete insurance forms. Assistants also answer phone calls, set up appointments, take care of accounting needs and authorize refills and phone prescriptions to a pharmacy.
Most importantly, assistants also execute infection-control procedures in a medical office. They are responsible for sterilizing medical instruments, and maintaining the cleanliness of examination rooms and instruments. This is most important when seeking to prevent cross-infection among health care workers and patients. Cleanliness is very important; especially in this line of work because you are working with the public every day.
Keep in mind, the career of an assistant is a very fast-growing occupation; not only in the US but around the world. Some of the courses an assistant studies are physiology, anatomy, typing, record-keeping and insurance processing. Students also learn clinical and diagnostic procedures, first aid, giving of medication and laboratory techniques. Ethics, medical law and patient relations; are also studied. In addition a GED or high school diploma is required in order to apply to a vocational-technical school or a community college.
Certification is needed in order to be an assistant; but first you must pass all of your classes and then graduate. There are several quality online assistant programs available. For many, online classes work better because you can study at your own pace; while working or taking care of other responsibilities. Online feedback is often helpful and given in a timely manner.
To conclude, an assistant’s career is satisfying and can lead to a very worthwhile way of making a living. However, before making a decision to enter this field, talk with a counselor, friend or family member and keep in mind, this career choice is demanding, exacting but highly rewarding. Talk with a school counselor, nurse or doctor and find out if this career choice is for you.
Be sure to do research on the duties, places of employment, salary and future predictions for this job. The world will always need skilled assistants and with many doctors and nurses retiring; it is a field that will always be in demand. In addition, the answer to the question how to beome a medical assistant, can be stated by saying, do some research, talk to several health professionals about this topic and then study and work hard.