Having a “one size fits all” component part or piece of clothing works for everyone. Having a medical assistant is a little bit like that: Every medical facility can use one. A medical assistant is a valuable resource in the health care industry and wears multiple hats: clinician, administrative assistant, counselor and comforter. He or she is the backbone of the clinic, physician’s office or hospital.
If you’re thinking of going to school to become a medical assistant, you’re considering a field that is very much in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is expecting to add nearly 4 million jobs by 2026 – about one-third of all jobs – and jobs for medical assistants are expected to increase 29 percent. They’ll be needed across Ohio and the rest of the country.
One explanation for the increase is today’s rapidly aging population. As people age, they usually need more medical care. As many medical offices transform to a more team-based approach to patient care, medical assistants are filling expanded and enhanced roles. The extensive training medical assistant programs in Ohio provide prepares the assistant to handle routine duties such as checking vital signs, drawing blood, administering medications and noting medical histories. He or she can be a lifesaver to a physician, who is often extremely busy and needs to focus on diagnoses and treatment.
If you’re still asking yourself the reasons to become a medical assistant, remember that medical assistants are in demand. Here are some career facts you need to consider.
What does a medical assistant do?
A medical assistant helps a doctor’s office, hospital or medical clinic operate seamlessly. Duties usually include a combination of administrative and clinical responsibilities.
Administrative duties may include:
- Welcoming patients and answering the phone
- Setting appointments
- Overseeing patients’ medical records
- Supervising patients’ insurance information
- Arranging hospital admissions and laboratory services
- Handling correspondence
Clinical duties may include:
- Preparing patients for medical examinations
- Drawing blood
- Removing sutures and changing dressings
- Performing basic laboratory exams
- Recording medical histories
- Assisting the doctor during exams
- Instructing patients about medications and special diets they may need
Where can medical assistants work?
Most frequently, medical assistants work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics. However, they can also apply their skills in other places, including:
- Retirement facilities
Although many of the residents are not sick, they are elderly and need assistance. Medical assistants can administer their medication, give injections or check vitals. They may also help residents with their daily hygiene, help them get around in wheelchairs and with walkers, provide first aid and handle basic physiotherapy sessions.
- Home health care
If you’re a medical assistant looking for a job that offers a flexible schedule, working in home health care might be a good option. Many people who need regular health monitoring prefer to remain in their homes rather than move to a nursing home or rehabilitation facility. They may also just need post-hospitalization follow-up care. In these cases, a medical assistant can provide care in the patient’s home.
- Palliative care facility
People being treated for cancer often have side effects from chemotherapy and radiation that disrupt their quality of life. Medical assistants who work in a palliative care facility can help with daily patient care and also lend support to families by keeping them abreast of treatment plans, handling administrative tasks and offering emotional support.
Where can I study medical assisting?
Ohio Business College offers a 12-month diploma program that will prepare you for an entry-level position as a medical assistant. During your full-time day program or evening classes, you’ll learn from instructors who have real-world experience in the field. They combine traditional textbook education with hands-on learning to help you become the best medical assistant you can be.
You’ll learn about:
- Human anatomy
- Record keeping
- Clinical and administrative procedures
- Medical law and ethics
Once you’ve completed your studies at the Lorain County or Sandusky campus, you’ll be qualified to sit for the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) and Registered Medical Assistant exams. Passing both increase your chances of finding a job as a medical assistant. Ohio Business College also offers career placement assistance.
The healthcare industry needs you! Contact Ohio Business College today to begin your career as a medical assistant.