Medical Assistant Jobs Andover MN
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Career Spotlight – Medical Assistant
What is a Medical Assistant?
A medical assistant is an individual trained to assist medical professionals on an administrative level, clinical level, or both. Medical assistants are not the same as physician assistants. A physician assistant (PA) is trained to provide basic medical services, such as exams, diagnostics, and treatment under the supervision of a physician. Physician Assistants usually already have experience as nurses, paramedics, and medical technicians.
A medical assistants primary role is to keep physicians’ offices running smoothly by performing administrative and/or clinical tasks. Medical assistants do this by updating patient files, maintaining patient records, filling out insurance forms, and coordinating hospital admissions and laboratory services. Administrative duties might also include reception, bookkeeping, purchasing of office supplies and medical equipment, scheduling appointments, greeting patients and visitors, and accounts payable/receivable.
Depending on the type of office and state law, clinical duties include but are not limited to assisting physicians during examinations, collecting specimens, preparing and administering medications, drawing blood, changing dressings, discussing treatment procedures with patients, sterilizing medical equipment and instruments, prepping for examinations, recording vital signs, and taking and recording medical histories.
Medical assistants, whether administrative, clinical or both, can work on a full-time or part-time basis. Because the medical industry is a year around, around the clock industry, medical assistants can work days, evenings, weekends or a combination of the three. This is usually the case for hospital employees.
Medical Assistant Earnings
Medical assistants can work in any number of hospital settings or physicians’ offices including family and general practices, as well as “specialized” practices such as dental chiropractic, podiatry, and ophthalmology. Salaries for medical assistants will vary greatly depending on the type of medical assistant, setting, skill level, and experience.
As of May 2008, the average annual wage for medical assistants was $28,300. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,700 and $33,050. The lowest 10 percent earned $20,600 and the highest 10 percent earned $39,570. It is important to note that wages can be considerably higher based on whether an assistant has an advanced degree, multiple certifications, 10+ years of experience, and number of languages spoke.
Medical Assistant Qualifications
Although an accredited medical assisting program is strongly recommended to become a medical assistant, it is not always a requirement. However, most hospitals and physician offices prefer formal education and training. If you decide to attempt to enter the field without formal training, you will likely be passed over for candidates that have completed an accredited program. In the few cases where formal education a...