Remember the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” We heard it so often as children and, for most of us, the answers came much more quickly and resolutely: Ballerina! Firefighter! Doctor! Lawyer! The problem is, until you have experienced life, been exposed to a variety of subjects in school, and learned about your own strengths and weaknesses, truly knowing what you want to be is more complicated than most of us originally thought. That is why education – and work experience – are so valuable.
If you want to become a medical assistant, it’s important that you expose yourself to a variety of medical settings, engage in conversations with others in the field of healthcare, and attend a college or university that prepares its students both educationally and experientially.
A Day In The Life Of A Medical Assistant
So close your metaphorical eyes (otherwise you won’t be able to read this) and imagine yourself, freshly graduated and hired by the medical environment of your choice. Here is a glimpse at what A Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant might be like.
Wake Up And Start Your Day
You begin your day, grateful to have a job in the profession of your choice. You pat yourself on the back for making a smart career move; the employment rates for medical assistants should grow as much as 31% by 2020 – that’s significantly higher than the projected growth statistics for most careers.
Because you’ve chosen a career in the medical field, the hours you work will probably be flexible. Whether you choose to work in an office that keeps normal Monday through Friday, 9 – 5 hours, to align with your family’s schedule, or a busier clinic or hospital setting – allowing you to work swing-shifts or graveyards – you can find a job that works with your scheduling needs.
Time To Go To Work
Whew! Forget about having to decide what to wear for the day, or sticking to a wardrobe budget, you get to don scrubs and comfortable shoes before heading out the door. As more and more medical facilities are being built to accommodate the needs of our aging population, you’ll probably luck out with a short work commute. Your job responsibilities require you to be quick on your feet, a multi-tasker, and a good problem solver which means you need to pack healthy snacks and/or lunch to keep your body properly fueled.
The Role Of The Medical Assistant
In many cases, you will be relieving the medical assistant who worked the shift prior, so s/he will debrief you regarding how things stand. You will have multiple duties to perform throughout your shift – many of which will vary according to what type of facility you are working in. Some of the most universal tasks will include:
- Greeting and assisting patients to determine their needs
- Taking and recording accurate medical history and current information from patients
- Assisting the physician on duty with his/her examination of the patient
- If you speak a second language, you may also serve as an interpreter between the patients and other doctor/nursing staff
- Administering patient shots as directed by the physician
- Scheduling future appointments for patients
- Preparing blood and/or urine samples for the lab to process
If you have special certifications or have advanced into specific medical assistant job niches, such as Administrative-, Clinical-, Opthalmic-, etc., you will have additional duties and responsibilities specific to your title.
What? The Workday’s Over Already?
Because you will be busy, and enjoy what you do, your Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant will come to an end before you know it. And guess what? Today happens to be payday! Hurray. Your manager hands you your paycheck and you are happy to know that the median salary for Medical Assistants is almost $30,000, and can go as high as $40,000 with more education and advancement opportunities.
A Day in the Life of a Medical Assistant can pave the way to a satisfying career, or can serve as the platform for a career in health information management or medical coding and billing. When you find the career you were meant for, you know exactly what you want to be when you grow up!
Do you work as a medical assistant? What did you do to prepare for your job? Share your experience to help others learn about exciting careers in healthcare.