CMedical assistants typically graduate from postsecondary education courses. Although there are no formal educational requirements for becoming a medical assistant in most states, employers may prefer to hire assistants who have completed these courses.
courses for medical assisting are available from community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, and universities and take about 1 year to complete. These courses usually lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges offer 2-year courses that lead to an associate’s degree. All courses have classroom and laboratory portions that include lessons in anatomy and medical terminology.
Some medical assistants have a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties on the job. High school students interested in a career as a medical assistant should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy, and possibly business and computers.
As a Medical Administrative Assistant, you must enjoy working with people! Medical Administrative Assistants work closely with doctors, nurses and other medical Health Professionals, but their main focus is patients. As a CMA you will interact with patients on a daily basis. You have to be emphatic, highly patient, diplomatic, outgoing, active listener, and a great communicator, for people you get to see, might be frustrated, sick and in pain, scared. Health Professionalism and discretion is a must, since handling sensitive and confidential information is part of the job. Other skills should include: multitasking, prioritizing, dependability, calm and composed behavior in an emergency situation and when working under pressure, team player, strong work ethic, etc.
Tasks required to perform.
- Answering phones and taking messages.
- Scheduling and confirming appointments.
- Checking-in and checking-out patients.
- Managing medical records.
- Verifying insurance coverage.
- Completing and submitting insurance claims.
- Performing medical coding and billing.
- Processing patients payments for medical services.
- Arranging for patients hospitalization.
- Providing customer service to patients.
Important Qualities To Have
Analytical skills. Medical assistants must be able to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses. They may be required to code a patient’s medical records for billing purposes.
Detail oriented. Medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information. physicians and insurance companies rely on accurate records.
Interpersonal skills. Medical assistants need to be able to discuss patient information with other medical personnel, such as physicians. They often interact with patients who may be in pain or in distress, so they need to be able to act in a calm and Health Professional manner.
Technical skills. Medical assistants should be able to use basic clinical instruments so they can take a patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure.
The scope of responsibilities depends on the services a medical facility provides. Some tasks can be learned on the job, but these days employers prefer employees with experience, degree, certification, or a combination of all of them. In a busy medical facility there is usually little time and only a few resources available to train a new employee. Therefore more knowledgeable you are in this profession and more tasks you can perform without supervision from day one, the more valuable you are.