The opportunities in the healthcare industry are no longer limited to the traditional health occupations. Health care institutions will need thousands of additional trained personal over the upcoming years to keep pace with the aging population of most industrialized countries, this is especially in the United States where cost containment has become a major political concern. This is creating a boom in employment opportunities for non-licensed healthcare professionals such as the Medical Assistant. A career as a medical assistant is often a very rewarding and practical occupational path for toughs interested in assisting with patient care. Often many medical assistants will advance there training and earn traditional healthcare degrees in the nursing or medical field.
A Medical Assistant most often perform many administrative duties, including answering telephones, greeting patients, updating and filing patients’ medical records, filling out insurance forms, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments, arranging for hospital admission and laboratory services, and handling billing and bookkeeping. In addition many areas of the United States now allow Medical Assistant to perform minor clinical duties. According the US Department of Labor these clinical tasks may include taking medical histories and recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination, and assisting the physician during the examination. Medical Assistants may also collect and prepare laboratory specimens or perform basic laboratory tests on the premises, dispose of contaminated supplies, and sterilize medical instruments. They often instruct patients about medications and special diets, prepare and administer medications as directed by a physician, authorize drug refills as directed, telephone prescriptions to a pharmacy, draw blood, prepare patients for x rays, take electrocardiograms, remove sutures, and change dressings.
Also according the United States Department of Labor “employment of medical assistants is expected to grow much faster then average for all occupations through the year 2014 as the health care industry expands because of technological advances in medicine and the growth and aging of the population. Increasing utilization of medical assistants in the rapidly growing health care industry will further stimulate job growth. In fact, medical assistants is projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations over the 2004-14 period… and job prospects should be best for medical assistants with formal training or experience”.