While most industries face cutbacks and layoffs as a result of the current economic climate, there is one career that is projected to grow steadily in the future: Medical Assistants. Experts predict that medical assistant jobs will grow as much as 35% by 2016, due mostly to the aging of the population and major advances in medical technology.
The field of medical assisting offers many options and medical assistants can tailor their careers to their lifestyle. Medical assistants can be part-time, full-time, even work only evenings and weekends. Working conditions and benefits tend to be excellent.
There is demand for medical assistants in many different areas of medicine. As a medical assistant you can choose to specialize in a particular type of medicine such as podiatry, ophthalmology or chiropractic care
Some of the duties performed by medical assistants include:
- Handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner
- Taking medical histories and recording vital signs
- Explaining treatment procedures to patients
- Assisting physicians during examinations.
Accreditation programs are often be the best way to get into this exciting and dynamic field. These programs teach you everything you will need to work in a medical office, from clerical skills such as filing, transcription and recordkeeping, to anatomy, physiology and medical law and ethics. Often these programs also provide internship opportunities and placement services for graduates. Certifications will help you stand out and make you more desirable to potential employers.
Medical assistants usually are able to move up from their initial position with a little additional training down the road. Many take additional classes to become nurses and health care practitioners. Some take on additional administrative training and become office managers for larger practices. Your first job as a medical assistant is more of a jumping off point for a bigger, more rewarding career in the health care industry.
As with any training or educational course, always research any program thoroughly before beginning. Find out exactly what kind of training you will be receiving through your program and what kind of assistance and placement programs are in place to help you. Working in the health care industry can be extremely rewarding and a medical assisting training course can be the first step to a long and satisfying career in the health care field.