If you are pursuing a career as a medical assistant you may be unaware of the options afforded to you. While traditional medical assistants straddle the line of clinical and administrative duties, there are specializations available that will let you really hone in on the specific skills you wish to bring to your employer and your career. As a clinical medical assistant, you will focus on working directly on the clinical side of the industry, and enjoy all the benefits of medical assisting, without having to worry about the other side, which you may have no interest in at all. There are countless benefits to entering the medical field as a medical assistant right now, with growth expected to rise at 29% through 2022 and high incomes, but you first should understand more about what the journey you are about to embark upon.
Clinical Medical Assistant Overview
As a clinical medical assistant you will focus on working directly with patients, doctors, nurses and other health care providers on a daily basis. The actual duties you perform will vary based on state specific guidelines. You will need to check with your state to find out what you can and cannot do daily, if the specifics are important, but you can expect the following tasks to generally be on your daily list of duties. Expect to work directly with patients in a number of ways, including; taking detailed notes about visits before the doctor sees the patient, administer medications through injection or other means, discuss health and wellness plans, answer questions about medications or other issues, take vitals, greet patients, sterilize instruments and patient rooms and report directly to doctors and nurses to keep them apprised of patient’s needs.
Working as a clinical medical assistant also brings in a healthy income of $43,000 a year on average (as of the time of this writing). You will see a varied income based on experience, location, employer, education and a number of other factors. The best course of action is to pursue entry level work as soon as possible. This experience will be invaluable as you will be able to put skills to use as you learn them through your education. Balancing a busy work schedule and an education at the same time can be a challenge, but it is much easier when you pursue your degree online.
Benefits of Online Educations
Your work schedule will not be something that makes it easy to earn a degree in a traditional sense. Earning a degree online allows you to go to school on your own schedule. This freedom to make your own schedule on a daily basis frees you up to take on a full class schedule without impacting your work schedule or personal schedule. As long as your computer can access the internet and use a word processer, you have the necessary tools to succeed. Due dates will guide you through the semester and you will find that the only real requirement is the willingness to learn.
There are countless schools that offer online programs that range from certificate and diploma programs to full associate’s programs. Trade schools, universities, and community colleges are some of the most common areas in which you will find these types of programs so the best course of action is to start discussing your plans with a number of schools and see which ones offer you the particulars that you need to meet your personal goals.
You should also consider certification, which is not the same as earning a certificate program. Certification will show that you have a deeper level of understanding in your career and command a higher income ($8,000 – $12,000 a year on average) and more job opportunities. Discuss this option with potential educators as many programs are designed to help you pursue a certification, or CMA (AAMA), as soon as you graduate from your program. For more information about this particular path, visit the American Association of Medical Assistants, or search the web for articles that will explain the processes in more detail.