Exploring Careers: Medical Assisting

What is Medical Assisting? It’s not a new profession, but it’s a term that I for one was unfamiliar with until a couple years ago. The more I learn about this profession, the more interesting I find it to be.

Medical Assistants are sort of jack-of-all-trades health professionals. They are trained in both clinical and administrative duties to work beside and provide support to physicians and other medical providers. You will often find Medical Assistants working in doctor’s offices and outpatient clinics.

Of course actual duties vary depending on the particular office, but Medical Assistants can help physicians with patient exams (They can handle the computer so your doctor can talk to you without playing peek-a-boo from behind a screen.), obtain patients’ medical histories, perform basic lab tests, provide wound care and more. In addition to clinical duties, Medical Assistants are trained to code and file insurance claims, update patient records, schedule appointments, handle billing and book keeping tasks, arrange for hospital admissions or lab tests, and more.

Basically, Medical Assistants are multi-skilled health professionals who play a huge role in caring for patients and keeping an office running smoothly.

Anyone who likes variety in their routine would probably like this profession. But they also need to have critical-thinking skills, organizational skills and be efficient and able to multi-task well. The median yearly salary in 2015 was about $30,500 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the number of jobs available is expected to increase by about 23% through 2024 (the average growth rate for all jobs is 7%).

For more information on the Medical Assisting program at CCC, contact Colette Hill at hillb@Clevelandcc.edu.

Want to know more about what profession might be a good fit for you? The 2015 North Carolina Career Clusters Guide, presented by NC Community Colleges and the NC Department of Public Instruction, contains information to help people choose a career pathway.


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