So What Do You Do? Do we need a crystal ball?
What is a Medical Assistant?
This occupation is advancing. And many people may say they have heard about medical assisting. However, they probably do not realize what medical assistants do or how valuable the medical assistant is to the providers and health care community.
It might be interesting to take a closer look at what employers are typically looking for when hiring a medical assistant. Now the medical practices have raised the bar very high expecting medical assistants to perform a vast variety of tasks and possess exceptional professional behavior.
Employers prefer to hire experienced workers or certified applicants who have passed a national examination, indicating that the medical assistant meets certain standards of competence. In other words, the student should graduate from an accredited college through CAAHEP or ABHES.
Rend Lake College’s Medical Assistant Program is accredited through CAAHEP. Our graduates are able to take any one (or more) of four national exams (CCMA, CMA, RMA, NCMA).
Medical Assistants handle both administrative and clinical tasks. An employer can use a MA in many different task areas.
Some include taking medical histories, recording vital signs, assisting physicians during examinations, collecting and preparing lab samples for lab tests, performing injections, blood withdraw, electrocardiography, sterilizing surgery instruments; and clerical tasks such as answering the phone, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, filing charts, filling out insurance forms, and completing medical records including labs, authorizations, X-rays, hospital records and any care in each patient visit.
Also, a MA can be involved in coordinating and managing patient care including authorizations and prescriptions; responsible for prioritization of the patient flow; act as a resource to clinician in order to provide optimal patient care; develop and maintain effective communication skills; and provide basic education for the patient during their clinic visit.
There are many things a qualified MA can do. Medical providers are seeking an efficient and loyal person, with an eye for detail, to come on board as a medical assistant.
Medical assistants work in well- lighted, clean environments. Flexible schedules are usually available — full-time, part-time, evening, or weekend.
Projection for the job outlook 2016-2026
I have been researching information about the continued growth of medical assistants over the U.S. The students in the MA program at Rend Lake College often ask about their future career in healthcare. They ask if there will be enough jobs to support their need for employment. I reassure them that there are numerous positions in the field and having a national certification will further ensure their success.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, future growth in the medical assistant field is expected to be a 29% increase in available positions. This is much faster than average growth for other occupations. Looking more closely; our local area is expected to have 75 new jobs, and Illinois will have 2,292 new jobs available, according to BLS projections.
Why will the job market grow?
The aging baby-boomer population will demand additional healthcare services. Another reason is that technology will continue to enhance the workplace for the medical assistant. In many cases, the providers will rely on their medical assistants to be involved in telehealth operations. (Electronic medical records, mobile devices, advising over the phone). Other advancements in the medical field include development of software programs. The MA uses software technology to collect and input patient data.
But even with all the best technology and skills, you cannot forget the patient is a person — a human with face-to-face, interpersonal communication and behaviors.
So I ask you … what do you want to do in your life? Many answer “I want to help people.” The Medical Assistant Program is your life choice program.
Here’s how you start.
Schedule your PSB entrance test for one of the dates below. Then go to our website at www.rlc.edu/medicalassistant and apply.
PSB testing dates for medical assistant program in Spring 2019:
June 6 | 9:00 am
June 18 | 1:00 pm
June 26 | 9:00 am
The last day to apply for the Medical Assistant program is June 30, 2019.
I hope you have found this information helpful. I look forward to guiding you on your journey to becoming a Medical Assistant!
Dr. Nina Goloubeva, M.D.