If you’re interested in getting into the health and medical field, becoming a Medical Assistant is a great option. Not only do Medical Assistants make a meaningful contribution to patient care, but they also make an impact in healthcare facilities and have a great opportunity to explore various career paths. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to be a Medical Assistant. 

What Does an MA do?

A Medical Assistant is responsible for providing assistance to doctors and other healthcare professionals in both administrative and clinical duties. Administrative duties may include managing patient records, scheduling appointments, filing insurance forms, answering phone calls, preparing lab specimens for tests, or providing billing information. Clinical duties may include taking vital signs such as temperature, weight and blood pressure, performing simple laboratory tests such as urinalysis or pregnancy tests, drawing blood for laboratory testing, giving injections and assisting with minor surgeries. 

Career Paths for Medical Assistants

Medical Assistants can choose from many different career paths within the medical field depending on their interests and skill set. Some MAs go on to specialize in a particular area of medicine such as pediatrics or geriatrics while others may become certified in coding and billing or pursue further education in nursing or other health-related fields. Additionally, some MAs choose to move into management positions where they can supervise other MAs or manage entire departments within hospitals or clinics. 

Types of Medical Assistants

There are two primary types of Medical Assistants: administrative MAs and clinical MAs. Administrative MAs focus primarily on paperwork-related tasks such as scheduling appointments and managing patient records while clinical MAs are responsible for more hands-on tasks like taking vital signs or performing simple laboratory tests. Depending on the facility you work at, you may be required to perform both types of duties or just one type of duty depending on your qualifications and job requirements.              

Training for Medical Assisting 

In order to become a certified MA, you will need to complete an accredited medical assistant program which typically takes around 12 months, depending on the program type (online vs. classroom).  You can find many different programs offered at community colleges as well as online schools that offer medical assistant training courses. At DCI, we offer an accelerated 10 week/140 hour MA program – and an additional 160 hours of clinical externship.

After completing your training program, you will need to pass the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) exam administered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA). Once you have passed this exam, you will be eligible for certification as a CMA which is often preferred by employers when hiring new employees.  

Becoming a Medical Assistant is an exciting career path that offers diverse opportunities within the medical field. With proper training and certification, you will be able to provide quality care while exploring different areas of medicine with potential advancement opportunities. Be sure to take your time researching different programs so that you can find one that best suits your needs!

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