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All About Medical Assistants

Job Description & Duties Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.

What Do Medical Assistants Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Contact medical facilities or departments to schedule patients for tests or admission.
  • Authorize drug refills and provide prescription information to pharmacies.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for patient examinations, keeping the rooms neat and clean.
  • Explain treatment procedures, medications, diets, or physicians' instructions to patients.
  • Help physicians examine and treat patients, handing them instruments or materials or performing such tasks as giving injections or removing sutures.
  • Operate x-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), or other equipment to administer routine diagnostic tests.

What Every Medical Assistant Should Know

Medical Assistants state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Medical Assistant

  • Certified Coding Specialist
  • Hospital Clinic Assistant
  • Podiatric Assistant
  • Chiropractor Assistant
  • Certified Professional Coder (CPC)

Is There Going to be Demand for Medical Assistants?

There were about 634,400 jobs for Medical Assistant in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 29% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 184,000 new jobs for Medical Assistant by 2026. There will be an estimated 94,900 positions for Medical Assistant per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Medical Assistant are Utah, Arizona, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Mississippi, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Medical Assistants Salary

The average yearly salary of a Medical Assistant ranges between $24,790 and $47,250.

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Medical Assistants who work in Alaska, District of Columbia, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Medical Assistants make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $28,460
Alaska $45,490
Arizona $33,410
Arkansas $30,320
California $38,250
Colorado $36,180
Connecticut $38,350
Delaware $33,350
District of Columbia $42,010
Florida $32,870
Georgia $32,060
Hawaii $38,040
Idaho $33,540
Illinois $35,910
Indiana $32,580
Iowa $34,990
Kansas $31,400
Kentucky $31,900
Louisiana $28,740
Maine $35,160
Maryland $36,350
Massachusetts $40,270
Michigan $32,540
Minnesota $40,320
Mississippi $30,470
Missouri $32,260
Montana $34,520
Nebraska $34,670
Nevada $33,610
New Hampshire $36,730
New Jersey $35,840
New Mexico $30,750
New York $37,560
North Carolina $32,710
North Dakota $36,560
Ohio $31,900
Oklahoma $30,960
Oregon $38,260
Pennsylvania $32,770
Rhode Island $35,830
South Carolina $32,120
South Dakota $29,890
Tennessee $32,370
Texas $31,580
Utah $33,000
Vermont $37,740
Virginia $35,010
Washington $41,340
West Virginia $28,160
Wisconsin $36,410
Wyoming $33,830

Tools & Technologies Used by Medical Assistants

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Medical Assistants may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Database software
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • MEDITECH software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Epic Systems
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • Billing software
  • GE Healthcare Centricity EMR
  • Appointment scheduling software

How to Become a Medical Assistant

Individuals working as a Medical Assistant have obtained the following education levels:

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How Long Does it Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

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Medical Assistants Sector

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Medical Assistants work in the following industries:

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You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Medical Assistant may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Medical Assistant in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Ryan Conroy via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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