How to Become a Medical Assistant & What Responsibilities You'll Have

How to Become a Medical Assistant & What Responsibilities You’ll Have

15 January 2019 By Kate

Medical assisting students at Pioneer Pacific College

Have you always been interested in the medical field, but don’t know for sure where your interests fall?

Medical Assistants fill a vital role in the medical field and provide you with exposure to a wide variety of specialties and aspects of health care. It continues to be one of the highest in demand careers based on our ever-aging baby boomers that are continuously in need of routine or specialized care.

With a Medical Assisting degree or diploma, you can start a promising career in a field the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts to grow by 29% through 2026.

Medical Assistant Responsibilities

Physicians rely on medical assistants to be their right-hand person at all times throughout the day. From documentation to anticipating their needs before they are requested, medical assisting is a talent that takes practice.

As a medical assistant, you’ll be responsible for patient care while also fulfilling laboratory and administrative duties as an entry-level assistant to healthcare professionals. It is a key role in the healthcare delivery team charged with providing efficient, high-quality patient care.

Medical assistants work with diverse people and cultures and act as a patient advocate to ensure they are getting the healthcare they need.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

There are several options for career education to become a medical assistant, and selecting the program that’s right for you is a step towards your new career.

At Pioneer Pacific College, you can earn your Medical Assisting Associate Degree in 70 academic weeks or your Medical Assisting Diploma with an accelerated program in 50 academic weeks. This could also be combined with training in Limited X-Ray technology.

You’ll learn a number of useful skills to prepare you for your career when going to school for a Medical Assisting education:

  • Clinical Skills
    • BLS CPR Certified
    • Patient Charting & History
    • Vitals
    • Minor Surgery Assisting and Prep
    • First Aid/Emergency Response
    • Pharmaceutical calculations – current drug lists and usages
    • Eye Examinations
  • Lab Skills
    • Blood Draws / Phlebotomy
    • Urinalysis
    • Cultures
    • Pregnancy Tests
    • EKG
    • Nebulizer
    • ABO Blood Typing
    • Injections
    • A Hands-on Externship
  • Administrative Skills
    • Appointments
    • Filing/Typing
    • Bookkeeping
    • Insurance Form Preparation
    • Medical Transcription
    • HIPAA Certification
    • Medical Terminology

Thorough, hands-on training will prepare you with the knowledge and skills you’ll need to pass a certification examination in Medical Assisting. With this career education, you’ll be able to apply knowledge of medical assisting standards, ethics, laws, and regulations within the practice area you pursue.

Types of Medical Assistants

In medical assisting, you get the flexibility of choosing a specialty such as cardiology or family practice, pediatrics to sports orthopedics. This career path offers the flexibility to select a healthcare field that speaks to you and join a team to help deliver meaningful patient care.

Typical jobs for Medical Assistants with an accelerated diploma include:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Phlebotomist
  • Assistant Manager
  • Donor Processor
  • Lab Assistant

With an Associates Degree in Medical Assisting, you can open up even more doors and pave your way to promotion and advancement in this exciting field. Choosing the longer degree option would include training for additional skills such as basic accounting, record keeping functions in medical administrative settings, management skills in medical office environments, and computer software programs for creating documents, analyzing and presenting data, and retrieving information from internal networks and systems.

Typical jobs for Medical Assistants with Associates Degrees include:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Phlebotomist
  • Assistant Manager
  • Donor Processor
  • Lab Assistant
  • Medical Records Technician
  • Patient Coordinator
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Front Office

You also have the option of turning a certificate or diploma into an associate’s degree if you choose to do so down the line, meaning you are setting yourself up for success in more ways than one!

Start Your Journey

Medical assistants contribute a key function to successful medical teams, offering a variety of duties that help deliver effective healthcare. The MA option also provides the freedom to choose a field of healthcare that’s right for you.

If you’re interested in pursuing a Medical Assisting education, talk with our Admissions Officers to determine the best route for you!

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