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Career Of A Medical Assistant

Medical assisting is a great career to get into. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics this career is expected to grow much faster than average, especially for those who are certified. A medical assistant career also gives you a good change to have a great deal of variety in your day to day job.

Most medical assistants work in the offices of physicians performing a mix of administrative and clinical work. As you spend a lot of time dealing with patients, a medical assistant career is good for those who like to work with people. The exact mix of administrative and clinical work that is performed by a medical assistant is determined by the office where they work and the state that they work in. Some states allow medical assistants to do more clinical tasks than others.

In order to begin a medical assistant career, you usually need to complete an accredited one to two year program in medical assisting. Depending on the program, you will then receive a certificate, diploma, or associates degree. Once you have completed your degree you can begin searching for a job. This will be easier if you also go through the certification process to become either a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) or a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA). These certifications prove to an employer that you have the proper knowledge base to embark upon a medical assistant career.

Medical assistants help physicians by handling a lot of the basic office tasks, as well as filling out paperwork for laboratory work, insurance, and patient records. They also help deal with the patients by taking medical histories, preparing patients for exams, and instructing them on any required medications or special diets. They might also draw blood, administer medications as directed, collect samples for lab work, and perform other clinical tasks.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a medical assistant career made a mean annual salary of $28,270 as of May 2007, with the lowest paid 10% making less than $19,850 per year and the highest paid 10% making more than $38,490 per year. A variety of factors can affect the salary of someone with a medical assistant career, including whether or not they are certified, how much experience they have, where they are located, and the type of office they work in. If they have studied to become a more specialized medical assistant this will make a difference as well.
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