As we all make our way towards graduation, we may be sitting here stunned at the thought of finally being able to put our degrees to use. Medical Assisting is one of the fastest growing careers in the medical field. As a Medical Assistant we have been trained to perform a variety of tasks. Ranging from clerical to clinical duties. This is why Medical Assistants are in such high demand. Not only can we man the front desk, but we can also assist the physician behind the scenes. There are many different work environments in the medical field to begin with, so choosing which path one personally wants to take, can be overwhelming.
The three most popular environments are a hospital, a family practice, and a specialty surgeon’s office. The possibilities are almost endless when pursuing jobs in the field. The real problem is finding which environment truly sparks your interest and makes you want to wake up every morning and go to work, with a smile on your face. The most diverse environment of the three will be a hospital. For the most part a Medical Assistant working in a hospital with either specialize in clinical or administrative work. The administrative side could be anything from billing and coding to scheduling.
Being part of an administrative team also requires great people skills, as well as excellence in multi-tasking. If you are more interested in hands on you will be taking vitals, assisting doctors and nurses in procedures as well as drawing blood or preparing patients for x-rays. There are so many different units within a hospital. Whether working with the elderly, newborn babies, or anything in between, there will always be more knowledge to gain and more areas to explore. The starting salary for an MA in a hospital according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows a median of $15.
36 hourly (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). A Family Practice will also hire a Medical Assistant. When hired at a Family Practice, a Medical Assistant’s responsibilities will depend on the size of the facility. A smaller office will most likely hire an MA to do front desk clerical work, while a larger facility will have an MA practicing more on the clinical side of their training. In a Family Practice, we will see all age groups. You may see an infant for your first visit of the day, and the next will be a geriatric patient.
When working in a smaller practice, a Medical Assistants responsibilities may include answering phones, scheduling appointments and submitting insurance claims. In a larger office, responsibilities will be the opposite. These may include taking vitals, preparing patients for examination as well as assisting the doctor with the examination, and keeping the examination rooms tidy. The median pay for a Medical Assistant, starting out in a Family Practice, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is $14. 78 (US Bureau of Labor Statistic, 2013).
Although a slightly lower starting salary than a hospital position, the benefit is a slower pace, for one who is not accustomed to a faster paced environment. Specialty surgeons, such as an Orthopedic Surgeon, will also hire a Medical Assistant. The pay is reflective of the responsibility in this type of work environment. The Medical Assistant working with a specialty physician may get extra training and may be able to assist in surgery. This is most likely the only work environment where a Medical Assistant will assist in surgery.
Working in this type of environment, practicing clinical skills will open up new doors to go above and beyond a basic Medical Assisting degree. Clinical skills practiced in a surgeons office may include preparing patients to be examined by the surgeon, assisting the surgeon during examination, as well as providing assistance to the surgeon during surgery. The median pay for a position in a specialty surgeon’s office shows a starting pay at $16. 26 hourly (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). The best paying position in the Medical Assisting field will be working with a specialty surgeon.
There are so many options for Medical Assistants as the need becomes stronger. Hospitals, physicians offices as well as specialty surgeons, are all welcoming of new Medical Assistant graduates. Choosing the environment that we work in, will really depend on what kind of work one wants to focus on. Hospitals are often linked to doctor’s offices and specialty surgeons. If you decide you do not like a particular environment, there will always be room to stay within the company but to move to a different environment. We are trained to do the job, so let us spread our wings together and take on the world.
Our diverse knowledge of roles in the medical field will get us far. Let’s never stop educating ourselves. References: AAMA-American Association of Medical Assistants. (n. d).
Retrieved from http://www. aama-ntl. org/resources/library. aspx Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Medical Assistants on the Internet at http://bls. gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants. htm Medical Assistant Training – Health Guide USA. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. healthguideusa. org/careers/medical_assistant_training. htm.