If you are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, then becoming a medical assistant may be just the profession for you! First things first, before you can begin working towards your degree you must obtain your high school diploma or the equivalent. After you have this taken care of, you can then choose a post-secondary learning institution that offers a bachelor's degree program in medical assisting. It is important to understand that you cannot obtain a bachelor's degree in medical assisting. Instead, you will want to pursue a bachelor of science with a focus in physician assisting. This degree program will ensure that you have the training and skills that will be needed on the job
For individuals who have an associate's degree related to medical assisting, you should be able to transfer your course work from this program towards your bachelor's degree, which should allow you to finish your degree quicker. This educational plan is ideal for an individual who has gained some field experience and has a desire to advance their employment options. Keep in mind, with the proper training you will be considered a physician's assistant, which will allow you to practice medicine under the supervision of a doctor. A degree is designed to teach you how to create and administer a treatment management plan, how to perform and interpret a diagnostic study, how to perform a physical examination, how to educate patients in an effective manner, and how to access patient history.
In order to be trained in these areas you should expect to complete classes such as: technical communication, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, professionalism, clinical procedures, microbiology, physical assessment, and emergency medicine and surgery. Depending upon which four year college or university you decide to attend you may also be required to complete an internship just prior to graduation. This will allow you the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and skills that you have been learning in the classroom into a real world career setting.
This semester is generally somewhat of a transition since you will be working alongside a mentor or with direct supervision. Furthermore, your successful completion of this internship will demonstrate your real-world career abilities to potential employers. After you have completed your degree program you will still need to seek certification. In order to obtain certification you will have to earn a passing score on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. This is a multiple choice examination that tests a student's knowledge of surgical and medical fundamentals. Once you pass this certification exam you can designate yourself as Physician Assistant Certified.
In your capacity as a medical assistant you will be responsible for performing routine medical and clinical tasks at healthcare facilities, doctor's offices, and hospitals. You can expect to be responsible for managing the inventory, prescribing medications, supervising medical technicians, treating minor injuries, examining patients, and analyzing a patient's test results.
Clinical Medical Assistant – You’ll help with non-invasive examinations and work with doctors and surgeons in a healthcare setting. One of your key goals will be to prep patients for procedures. You’ll go over medical history with patients to update medical records correctly in order to give to the doctor in order for them to come up with a strategy and treatment. Some of the medical procedures that you can perform including drawing blood, performing EKG’s and even removing stitches.
Administrative MA – As a medical administrative assistant you’ll typically handle all the front-end duties including talking to family members regarding patient care and what to do when they are discharged and go home. Font office individuals set all patient appointments as well as file and update patient charts.
Education - It all starts with a good education from an accredited school. Finding a medical assisting program is easier than you would think and we have listed many of the top schools on our site. Some offer campus based programs where others are fully online.
Externship – Find a good school with a proven track record with externship sites. Many of these sites will hire qualified MS’s once you complete your program.
Resume – One of the most overlooked aspects of finding a good MA job is your resume. Be sure to list all of your accomplishments while in school. Showing you graduated with your Bachelor’s degree in medical assisting is important but your potential employer wants to see. They want to know you are proficient in: prepping patients, setting appointments, patient care and administering blood pressure tests. Also be sure to list any special awards you received in school including your attendance record which is important. If you know a second language include tat as bilingual medical assistants are in demand.
Recommendations - One of the best ways to show a potential employer that you can do the job at hand is to get a recommendation from one of your instructors. Another recommendation can come from your manager at your externship site.
Volunteer – Although not as popular you can always volunteer at the facility where you would like to work in order to show they that you really want to work there. You won’t be able to do MA duties but often they have other tasks they let interns and volunteers do.
Below are just some of the main medical ethics that you will find when working in a healthcare setting.
- Uphold standards of excellence regarding human dignity and rights.
- Respect the law but have the responsibility to change them to the best interest of the patient.
- Respect the rights of the patients that you service.
- Respect all information from the patient as confidential.
- Have the highest level of professionalism and principles.
- Be able to apply judgment without legal ramifications to the proper care of a patient.
Continue to learn and study in order to improve your talent in the field of medical assisting.