Are you thinking of becoming a medical assistant (MA)? Would you like to know a little more about the day to day workings in the life of a New York MA? Before getting to that, it’s interesting to note in 2012 the employment statistic for the number of MA jobs available was 560,800 positions. The projected employment growth between 2012 and 2022 is said to be 29% (162,900); that being said, it is quite exciting that the statistics are 18% higher than the average for all occupations.
So what exactly do medical assistants do?
They are the cornerstone assistants to podiatrists, physicians, chiropractors and other health practitioners. The location, size of the practice and their specialty determine what their duties will be.
Some of these duties are:
- Recording patients medical histories and personal information
- Helping the physician with the examination of patients
- Measuring of patient’s vital signs
- Giving injections to patients as instructed by physicians
- Preparation of blood for laboratory tests
- Scheduling patient appointments
What kind of assistant can a person become?
That’s a good question seeing as there are two main types of assistants. Firstly, you get administrative assistants which would normally be found making telephone calls, scheduling appointments, coding medical information and filling out insurance forms for patients. They are also sometimes responsible for buying, storing equipment and obtaining supplies for the office. Administrative assistants sometimes work closely with laboratory services and hospital administrators.
The second kind of assistant would be a clinical assistant. These can be very specialized assistants whose duties can vary based on location among other factors. Generally they may be found doing basic laboratory tests, disposing of supplies that have been contaminated and the sterilization of medical instruments. Some additional duties could be preparation of patients for x-rays, removal of stitches, taking of blood, changing of dressings and instructing patients on specialized diets and medication.
Good qualities to have as a MA
Analytical skills are vital in order to read and make sense of a patient’s medical charts and diagnosis. For billing purposes, analytical skills are also helpful when coding medical records. Being detail-orientated has its perks since they are taking vital signs and recording patient information; physicians and insurance companies need accurate information.
Interpersonal skills are a necessity when discussing patient information with medical personal such as a physician. When a patient is in distress, one needs to be able to remain calm and professional. Lastly, technical skills are needed in order to use the basic medical instruments one would expect to find in the medical field. These instruments typically would be used to test a patient’s blood pressure and heart rate along with other vital signs.
Annual salary of a MA
In 2012, according to the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey the median annual wage for an MA was $29,370 pa , or $14.12 per hour. This makes the wage of a MA almost double minimum wage in an effort to promote a skilled workforce.
Now that you know all you need to know about a day in the life of a New York medical assistant, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming one!