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3 Different Types Of Medical Assistants


The demand for healthcare will continue to grow due to the aging of the population combined with more people becoming insured. Now is a perfect time to become a medical assistant, with so many opportunities available. A medical assistant is a vital piece of the medical team, and there are a few different medical assistant options available.

Various Types Of Medical Assistants

Medical assistants work with the doctor to care for patients. You will wear many different hats, from administrative to clinical procedures. You're an invaluable asset to the physician’s staff, as you will help make sure the doctor’s office is running smoothly. Each office has its own set of requirements for its medical assistants. Typically, the job requires a minimum of a certificate, however some offices will expect you to have earned an associate degree.

There are three major types of medical assistants.

Clinical medical assistant

Clinical medical assistants assess the patients and perform a variety of other tasks. Your primary focus, however, is in patient care. You will do the basic work up of the patient to ready him or her for the doctor, get the patient’s medical history, take vitals such as temperature and blood pressure, assist the doctor during the exam, and explain home care instructions to the patient.

Administrative medical assistant

Medical administrative assistants focus mostly on the administrative aspect of the doctor’s office. You will answer phones, take care of the front desk, manage the patient’s records, and do basic billing and accounting. You take care of running of the office to free up the doctor’s time so that he or she can tend to patients. Qualities you should have are excellent oral, phone and writing skills, medical terminology knowledge, and proficient computer skills.

Specialized medical assistant

Specialized medical assistants have an associate degree on top of already being a certified medical assistant. You can take one of the many specialized medical assistant certification exams, ranging from cardiology to women’s health. Once that is completed, you can work more closely and in depth with the doctor and patient. Specific job duties will pertain to your specialties and depend on the size and type of office you are employed at. Specialized medical assistants use more medicinal tools and technology, and generally earn a higher salary.

You’ll Be In Demand

The outlook for medical assistants is expected to grow 29 percent through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual salary is $32,480, but the highest 10 percent will earn $45,900 per year. Think one of these types of medical careers is right for you? Find a school near you to get started!

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