Career Options for Medical Assistants

This is a profession that offers a number of pathways

Are you interested in a hands-on job in healthcare? Do you like to handle a variety of tasks at work on a daily basis? Are you someone who likes to be busy all day? Do you like interacting with and helping people? If so, a career as a medical assistant might be a great fit for you.

Trained medical assistants handle clinical, administrative, and clerical responsibilities in a broad range of healthcare environments such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and outpatient facilities. No matter which setting you choose as a medical assistant, this is a job that requires you to be professional, polite, and considerate with everyone you interact with—including patients, doctors, nurses, and other staff members. Being people-oriented and a great communicator are huge assets for this career.

To help you decide which particular role might best suit your interests, here are brief descriptions of the types of medical assistants:

Clerical medical assistants
If you are outgoing, organized, and detail-oriented, you might like this role, where you will serve as a greeter for patients and visitors as soon as they enter the reception area. Some tasks in this position include answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, sorting and processing mail, maintaining patient records, and communicating with the medical staff.

Administrative medical assistants
If you’re looking for more variety in daily tasks, and also love of numbers, finding a position as an administrative medical assistant may be the right choice. This role does handle some clerical duties, but also includes additional tasks, such as coordinating hospital admissions, arranging medical testing, and managing bookkeeping. While most of your day will be spent on office duties, this type of medical assistant also learns the basics of some clinical functions, so you may have to jump in when needed to assist the doctors and nurses.

Clinical medical assistants
If you’re looking for more direct patient interaction and a more medically focused career, you might want to consider being a clinical medical assistant. Some responsibilities that you can expect to have are collecting and transporting blood and other specimen samples, sterilizing instruments, cleaning wounds, removing stitches, performing EKGs, and taking vital signs. You will also provide support and reassurance to patients as you record their medical history and explain what will happen during an exam or procedure. You may also assist the doctors during exams.

Specialized medical assistants
If there is a specific medical specialty that interests you, you could find a position at a facility that focuses on that area. Specialties include such areas as pediatrics, OB-GYN, cardiology, endocrinology, geriatrics, and more. Your additional studies and training could enable you to assume additional responsibilities that are specific to that particular discipline.

Have more questions about becoming a medical assistant? Read this article for answers to frequently asked questions about the profession. Soon you could be on your way to a new career in healthcare—one that offers many options.

This post is part of the weekly blog of Seacoast Career Schools. We’re committed to supporting our students in taking steps towards a new career of their choice. If you’re interested in a professional training program, contact us today to find out more, or to schedule a tour.

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