What does a Medical Assistant do?
Medical Assistants typically work for hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities to perform administrative and clinical duties to support medical staff. They work closely with other healthcare professionals to communicate with patients and maintain patient confidentiality. Their job is to restock supplies in examination rooms, change bandages, remove stitches and perform physical examinations. They may also be responsible for accepting payment from patients and coordinating prescription refills for patients to pick up at their local pharmacy.
Medical Assistant skills and qualifications
A successful Medical Assistant candidate will know how to interact with patients and be able to get information from those who may be in distress. They should have a background in computers, chemistry, anatomy and biology. Candidates should be able to use analytical skills to understand medical diagnoses and follow medical charts. They must also understand medical codes.
Medical Assistants should have the following skills and qualifications:
- Associate’s degree in a medical field
- Pass a minimum of one exam from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies
- 2+ years of working in the healthcare field
- Strong verbal and written skills
- Superior customer service skills
- A high level of professionalism
Medical Assistant salary expectations
A Medical Assistant makes an average of $15.47 per hour. Pay rate may depend on the level of education, experience and geographical location.
Medical Assistant education and training requirements
A successful Medical Assistant candidate should have a degree from a postsecondary schooling program. While this is not necessary for every employer, most of them strongly prefer candidates who have a degree. Medical Assistant programs are available at vocational schools, community colleges and technical schools. They take an average of one year to complete. Some employers may be willing to train Medical Assistants once they hire them, but candidates should have familiarity with the health and medical fields. At a minimum, candidates should have a high school diploma.
Medical Assistant experience requirements
Medical Assistants should have experience working in a related healthcare position. This helps them have exposure to medical terminology and other information that is necessary to know as a medical assistant. Having a background working with the public can also be helpful to prepare the candidate to work with a variety of people. Job shadowing can be helpful for those who are interested in this field.
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