Medical Assisting Degree and Career Basics
Ever thought about breaking into the evolving and exciting world of healthcare? Earning a Medical Assisting degree could provide a great segue into a healthcare career.
What do Medical Assistants Do?
Medical assistants are often known as the right-hand people to physicians. They play a vital role in patient care and perform tasks including: appointment scheduling, vital sign and medical history recording, patient examination, drawing blood, and medicine administration. People interested in helping others, have good interpersonal skills, and who are intrigued by medical mysteries would be well suited for a career as a medical assistant.
The majority of medical assistants work in a physician’s office, while others work at hospitals, outpatient facilities, and non-traditional facilities like chiropractic clinics.
Career Outlook in Medical Assisting
Career opportunities in medical assisting are on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment is projected to grow much faster than average, ranking medical assistants among the fastest growing occupations over the 2008–18 decade.” The Bureau also cites that job opportunities in this field are expected to grow 34 percent from 2008 to 2018.
Education for Medical Assistants
Medical assisting courses will teach you practical knowledge of medical terminology, lab techniques, clinical procedure and patient care basics, as you work alongside nurses and doctors caring for patients.
Whether you are pursuing an Associate’s degree or diploma in medical assisting; you can expect to take courses like Clinical Skills and Laboratory Skills for Medical Assisting. As a medical assisting student, you may, depending on your college, also have an opportunity to work at a medical assisting externship in a medical facility.
In addition to the varied degree levels available, some schools, including Rasmussen College, offer blended online and residential programs in medical assisting. This path allows students who may be working full-time or busy juggling their families the flexibility and convenience of online learning with the classroom and lab experience required of a medical program.
What’s more is that medical assisting provides a great stepping stone for other health care positions, including nursing professions. Obtaining a diploma or Associate’s degree in medical assisting can provide a great start to a promising career in healthcare.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos164.htm (visited February 06, 2011).