The medical industry has a lot of positions available within it, and for good reason. As people age, the demand for healthcare continues to rise in leaps and bounds. This type of stability should be attractive for anyone looking for a job; many other industries aren't having the same success. If you're thinking about becoming a clinical medical assistant, then use the following to help you on your path.
What You’ll Do
Clinical and administrative medical assistants perform different tasks. As a clinical medical assistant, you gather information regarding the reason for the visit, and you are entrusted with filling out medical charts.
You may perform testing before the doctor begins his or her work, as well as provide basic directions and information regarding aftercare and potential side effects of procedures.
You'll also assist the doctor with sterilization, drawing blood and changing wound dressings. Importantly, you'll need to have great people skills since you'll work directly with patients.
Where You’ll Work
The choice is yours: Would you like to work in a small and personal office, or is a larger and potentially more structured facility, such as a hospital, more appealing to you? Different types of people fit into different roles and types of locations better. Knowing yourself can help you make your decision.
Whichever you choose, you'll need to be fast on your feet and confident in your actions. The patients and staff are both looking to you to deliver a good impression of the medical facility and the quality of care patients will receive.
No Degree Necessary, But ...
At smaller offices, you have the opportunity to get hired straight out of high school (or with a GED), and learn a variety of skills as you go. This type of role offers a range of flexibility in terms of responsibilities and is largely dependent on being able to sense what the doctor and staff need so you can fill in the gaps.
Training may be informal and infrequent, so you'll need to be able to learn quickly and possibly on your own. You can ask questions of course, but you'll need to be as independent as possible without making many mistakes.
This appeals to a certain type of person, but that individual can be difficult to find. An office like this may go through a lot of candidates and assistants before finally settling on the best fit.
Having A Certificate Will Help
It's generally better to do a diploma (one year to complete) or degree program (two years) to become a clinical medical assistant. You’ll have a definite learning plan and come away feeling confident in your abilities.
Medical assistants with formal training and especially certification tend to make more money and have greater job opportunities. You can become certified by taking an exam after completing your courses at an accredited school.
The American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) offers the credential of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). American Medical Technologists (AMT) gives the credential of Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). You also have the option of Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).
Any of the certifications will have you doing the same job, but the exams and requirements for certification vary to some degree. Research which is the best option for you.
Serious About Making This Your Own?
Visit your local doctor’s office—this will give you a chance to ask questions, build relationships, and make some initial decisions about whether this could be the career for you. After that, get into a school near you that offers classes to become a clinical medical assistant. You’ll be on your way to working in a wide-open industry in short amount of time.