Medical assistants play a crucial role in the healthcare industry, providing essential support to doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. They perform a variety of clinical and administrative duties that are essential to the smooth operation of a medical office or clinic. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of medical assistants in healthcare and what it takes to become a medical assistant.
Medical assistants are trained to perform both clinical and administrative duties, which can include taking vital signs, preparing patients for exams, and assisting with medical procedures. They are also responsible for handling administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, and managing patient billing and insurance. This multifaceted role requires a unique set of skills, including strong communication, attention to detail, and the ability to work effectively in a team.
The demand for medical assistants is growing rapidly, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 16% increase in employment in this field from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average job growth rate (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm). This growth is due in part to the increasing need for healthcare services as the population ages, as well as changes in the healthcare industry that are placing a greater emphasis on preventative care.
To become a medical assistant, one must typically complete a certificate or diploma program at a community college or vocational school. These programs typically take 9-12 months to complete and include both classroom instruction and hands-on training in areas such as medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, clinical procedures, and medical office management. Many programs also include an externship or clinical experience that allows students to gain real-world experience working in a medical office or clinic. At Community Care College, our program takes 9 months.
Upon completion of a medical assisting program, graduates are eligible to take a national credentialing or licensure examination. Community Care College graduates of the residential Medical Assistant Program are eligible to take the Certified Medical Assistant (or CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants. Graduates of the residential Medical Assistant Program are eligible to take the Registered Medical Assistant (or RMA) exam administered by the American Medical Technologists. Although having a credential or license is not currently required to work as a medical assistant in Oklahoma, some employers do require a license and it can improve your job prospects and demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and high standards of practice.
In addition to the satisfaction of helping patients and making a positive impact on their health, medical assistants also enjoy a promising career outlook. Employment opportunities are only expected to continue growing in the coming years.
In conclusion, medical assistants play a vital role in the healthcare industry, providing essential support to doctors, nurses, and patients. Becoming a medical assistant requires completing a training program and developing a unique set of skills that are essential to success in this field. With a promising career outlook and the satisfaction of making a positive impact on patients’ lives, medical assisting is a fulfilling and rewarding profession to consider.
For more info, or to become a Medical Assistant, visit: https://communitycarecollege.edu/medical-assisting/