Medical assistant a fast-growing career that offers a healthy future

Medical Assistant

Looking for a promising career in medicine that can be completed in less than a year? A career as a medical assistant may be for you.

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health practitioners trained to work in the business and clinical parts of a medical office. They assist physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and optometrists in helping offices run smoothly.

“Medical assistants can really do almost anything clinical or administrative in a medical setting,” said Dr. Kristin Spencer, medical assistant program director at JC. “They can work in doctor’s offices, clinics or hospitals, and they can fill different roles, like working in a pharmacy, triage units and more.”

In smaller offices, medical assistants are usually “generalists,” while those in larger offices may specialize in a particular area. Clinical duties may include taking medical histories, recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination, and assisting the physician in the exam room. They may draw blood, perform an EKG, give an injection, manage scheduling, coding and billing, utilize electronic medical records, provide patient education, advocate on behalf of patients and more.

Medical assistants must combine caring, compassion, professionalism, intelligence and skill in their daily work. Good communications and interpersonal skills are a plus because one will be interacting with patients who may be sick or injured, or uncertain about health questions.

About the Program

Complete the certificate in medical assistant in less than a year. Classes foster educating students in all areas, preparing them with necessary skills and interpersonal savvy. Students learn skills in the classroom and in the lab, such as giving injections and drawing blood and can apply those skills when they go out to their externship experience in medical settings.

Those interested in broadening their career opportunities may continue with an associate degree program. Upon completion students will be eligible to sit for the national medical assistant certification exam.

Projections predict an increase of 28 percent in employment in the coming years, ranking it among the fastest-growing occupations. Earnings vary from $25,520 to $49,940, depending on location and experience.