What You Need to Know About Becoming a Medical Assistant

Aug 30 2017

There are different ways to become a Medical Assistant, but one of the best is to earn an Associate’s Degree. Our program at Pittsburgh Career Institute is designed to give students the critical skills needed to begin a career as a Medical Assistant.

black doctor and medical assistant working with a baby

What Will I Learn?

There are many different things you will have to learn and be familiar with as a Medical Assistant. Some of the topics that will be covered during your time in school include:

  • Lab Procedures and Tests: Certain tests can be done by Medical Assistants, including vital signs, phlebotomy (drawing blood), echocardiograms, collecting lab specimens and more. The types of tests and proper ways to do them can also be learned in our program.
  • Patient Prep: The first person to greet a patient when they walk into the exam room is usually a Medical Assistant. Part of your job will be to check them in. You will need to ask about their symptoms, allergies to medication, and take notes for the doctor to look at. You may need to do some other tasks as well to help get the patient ready to see the doctor.
  • Medical Communications: Communicating with other healthcare professionals will also be an important aspect of your job. When a doctor outlines what he or she wants you to do, you should know the terminology and jargon that they are using. This is part of your educational experience and can help you be more prepared when you enter the workforce.
  • Medical Records: Most, if not all, healthcare facilities have computer systems where they input and store medical records for patients. While you are on the job you will be entering information and notes from patients into this system. Doing this properly is extremely important, which is why it’s a part of the Medical Assistant Specialist curriculum at PCI.
  • Medical Law: As a Medical Assistant, you will have to be familiar with basic laws that govern the healthcare industry as well as good ethical practices. Your job will involve personal information about patients and it will be important for you to know how to handle that information.
  • Insurance: Working and communicating with insurance companies requires some knowledge and experience. This is covered in our program so that graduates may have a basic understanding of how to do this on the job.

This list of things that you can learn in our Medical Assistant Specialist program is not comprehensive. You can learn about many other things to help you become a valuable member of the healthcare industry. Contact us to ask more about the program and what you can learn.

male medical assistant helping elderly man in wheelchair

Where Can I Work?

Once you graduate, you could choose from a variety of different sectors and workplaces within the healthcare industry to search for jobs. Some employers of Medical Assistants may include:

  • Doctor’s offices
  • Hospitals
  • Labs
  • Clinics
  • Retirement homes and communities
  • Nursing homes
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Many more

The reality is that most places that provide a healthcare service has need for a Medical Assistant. This can make your decision of where to live and work a very flexible one.

Who Will I Work With?

This is another aspect of a career as a Medical Assistant that can be appealing to many. Because this position is needed across the entire healthcare industry, you could get to work with a variety of different people. If you love working with babies or toddlers, you could seek work in a pediatric clinic. If you enjoy helping elderly people, you could search for a job in a nursing home. If you land a job in a hospital, urgent care facility, or general doctor’s office you may be working with all of these types of people in the same day. When it comes to Medical Assisting, there are very few limits to where you can work and with whom you can work.

female medical assistant taking notes on clipboard

What is the Job Market Like?

The Baby Boomer generation is one of the largest age demographics in the United States with an estimated 74.9 million people. Their age range in 2017 is from 53 to 71. As the very large Baby Boomer population ages, the demand for skilled workers in the healthcare industry continues to grow.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Medical Assistants is growing at a rate of 23%. This is much faster than the average 7% average for all other occupations. For those who are considering a career as a Medical Assistant, this is great news! The demand is growing rapidly which can make finding a job a much simpler task.

Getting Started

If you think a career in Medical Assisting might be for you, request information and a PCI Admissions Representative will contact you. They can answer any questions you may still have. If you know that you want to begin your journey to becoming a Medical Assistant, apply now! We can’t wait to help you build a new career helping others!

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