becoming a medical assistant is a great way to get into healthcareHave you been thinking about making a career change? Or are you just starting out, and wondering how to get started in the healthcare field? Becoming a medical assistant is a great way to get your start--it can be a stepping stone, or your final destination. If you are considering a new career and have wondered if working in the healthcare field would be a good fit for you, you might want to consider a program that would lead you down the path to becoming a medical assistant.


What Does a Medical Assistant Do?

Medical assistants provide administrative assistance such as answering phones, greeting patients, scheduling appointments, and updating and filling out patient insurance forms. They also provide clinical duties such as taking medical histories, preparing patients for their exams, drawing blood, removing sutures, and changing dressings as well as assisting the physician or healthcare provider during exams. Medical assistants are vital to the operations of most medical offices.

What Does it Take to Become a Medical Assistant?

Becoming a medical assistant often requires a high school diploma and post-secondary education, but the good news is that a medical assisting degree program can usually be completed in 1 to 1.5 years. Once you finish the medical assistant associate degree, you could be prepared to take a certification test that will give you the credentials of Certified Medical Assistant (CMA).

You may be wondering about the benefits of becoming a medical assistant . . . How can this path enrich your life? What's the career outlook and salary? Where can you go from there? There are many reasons for you to choose to become a medical assistant, but let's look at five.

The Medical Assisting Field has Job security

medical assistant salaryThe healthcare field is one of the fastest growing and consistent areas of employment. There continues to be a shortage of healthcare providers at each level of care. Growth in employment of medical assistants is expected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022,  (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). This shows that entering the healthcare field as a medical assistant not only provides the security of steady employment, but also lets you see if the medical field is the right fit for you. The median salary for a medical assistant in 2012 was $29,370, (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). 

Medical Assisting can be Rewarding

A medical assistant has the opportunity to interact and have frequent contact with patients. In many situations, the medical assistant is the liaison between the patient and the healthcare provider and the face of the medical setting. You will have the opportunity to take away some of the fear people have as they receive medical care. 

Transition into Various Areas of Healthcare

Once you have worked as a medical assistant and you decide that the healthcare field is a good fit for you, it could be an easy transition to further your education. There are many choices in healthcare, from becoming an LPN, RN, BSN, to a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner, all depending on how long you want to study and how you envision your future in the field. 

Medical Assistants Work in Varied Environments

With the growth that the medical field has shown in the past few years, you would have many options as to what type of work environment you prefer. Medical assistants are hired to work in physician offices, occupational health, physical therapy practices, emergency and urgent care settings, hospitals, long term nursing, as well as assisted living facilities. 

Medical Assisting is a Credentialed Occupation

Becoming a certified medical assistant will mark you as a professional in the healthcare field, without years and years of education. Certified medical assistants are a respected and much needed part of our medical care system and the need is only going to grow over the coming years.

Your Next Step . . . a Degree in Medical Assisting!

Education for employment in the healthcare field has grown at the same pace as the field itself.  If you think you would like to pursue a career to become a medical assistant, contact ECPI University today. Degrees and diplomas can be completed online, evenings, and part-time, and with our year-round program, you could earn an Associate of Applied Science in Health Science with a concentration in Medical Assisting in as little as 15 months! Contact us today and learn why ECPI University could be the perfect fit—it could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!

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