This post presents detailed information on the medical office assistant career, including how to be one, the various career opportunities available, and the benefits of being a medical office assistant.
What does a Medical Office Assistant Do?
Medical office assistants provide quality assistance to physicians and nurses.
They perform various duties, including taking patient histories and vital signs, greeting patients and visitors, and handling phone calls.
See detailed medical office assistant job description.
How to Become a Medical Office Assistant
To become a medical office assistant, the following are steps you can take:
- Learn about the job’s requirements
You’ll need to grasp how clinics and hospitals work, as well as what the medical office assistant profession entails.
Reading job postings should give you an idea of the skills you’ll need.
2. Obtain the required education
Most states do not have any educational requirements for becoming a medical office assistant.
Most firms require a high school graduation and prefer to recruit those who have completed a certification program.
These programs are offered by technical institutions and universities and typically last one year.
Human anatomy, medical language and terminology, and general office and clerical skills are covered in the course’s classroom and laboratory components.
3. Acquire technological knowledge
Working as a medical office assistant entails capturing patient information using computers, software, and electronic health record systems.
In addition to standard office software, you should be familiar with the variety of programs used in clinics.
4. Improve your soft talents
To prepare for a career in medical office support, you should work on developing your interpersonal skills so that you can talk calmly and effectively with patients and physicians.
Improving your analytical skills and attention to detail will also help you in the profession.
5. Hone your interview abilities
If a clinic has chosen you for an interview, you should be well prepared in order to have the best chance of being hired.
Read about the types of questions an interviewer might ask and take some time to come up with your own.
Consider emphasizing your education, training, and talents that would make you a good fit for the job during the interview.
You might also include examples from your job history of times when you successfully applied these talents.
Medical Office Assistant Career Opportunities
Here are various career opportunities available for medical office assistants
- Certified Nursing Assistant
A certified nursing assistant is a member of the health care team who helps a nurse in all aspects of patient care.
CNAs carry out all patient instructions regarding the care and treatment of their condition, including all oral and written instructions, and perform other duties which may be requested by a nurse or doctor.
2. Registered Nurse
The registered nurse is the highest ranking professional in the nursing profession. Registered nurses are educated to manage all aspects of care, and to care for patients with any type of medical problem.
3. Registered Nurse Supervisor
A registered nurse supervisor performs functions which include clinical education, patient assessment and development, clinical planning, medical record keeping and management, leadership skills and operations.
4. Nursing Director
The nursing director’s duties may include the planning, implementation and evaluation of policies for nursing.
5. Assistant Manager
The assistant manager’s duties may include supervision of nursing, non-nursing, and office staff.
Assistant managers that perform in this role will have experience training and managing a team.
6. Operations Manager
The operations manager’s duties may include planning, controlling, and organizing the entire or part of hospital or other care system.
Operations managers help clinical staff to learn and provide a quality service.
They will have experience in this role and also may have experience in other roles, such as hospital Compliance, or Chief Nursing Officer or Regional/District Nursing Officer for large healthcare organizations.
More Medical Office Assistant Career Opportunities
7. Branch Manager
The branch manager is responsible for the on-going management of a branch or department of a medical facility, organization or agency.
They will oversee the daily functioning of their branch and should be comfortable with decision making processes.
The branch managers will have extensive experience in this position and/or other managerial roles.
8. Home Health Aid
The home health aid is responsible for the practical and supportive care of a patient who is confined to their home due to illness or incapacity.
They are also known as a home nurse, or personal care assistant who can provide assistance with daily living activities.
9. Licensed Practical Nurse
A licensed practical nurse provides hands-on care in patient’s home, or at a facility to patients whose needs are not considered to be critically acute.
Their work functions are usually supervised by a registered nurse who they report to.
Licensed practical nurses are also an experienced medical assistant who can perform certain medical tasks under the direct supervision of a licensed nursing supervisor.
10. Nurse Manager
A nurse manager performs functions which include managing the nursing and midwifery staff, including specialist nurses, acting as a clinical consultant to the medical director and ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation, policies and clinical procedures.
11. Certified Medical Assistant
Certified medical assistant, or CMA; is a practitioner who provides basic medical-surgical care under the control of a licensed physician.
They work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs), home healthcare agencies, and nursing homes, and other settings.
Challenges faced by Medical Office Assistant on the Job
Some of the common challenges faced by medical office assistants include:
- Challenging Workload
Medical office assistants have challenging workload which is an important factor in their job satisfaction.
The workload for medical office assistant is extremely high and mentally challenging at the same time.
Medical office assistant may decide to quit the job due to the work load challenges.
2. Dealing With Difficult Personalities
Medical office assistants have to deal with patients on a daily basis. There are some patients who are very aggressive and do not want to follow their doctor’s orders.
These patients can be extremely rude and demanding. Working in this field gives medical office assistants the opportunity to gain practical experience in the medical field.
Medical office assistants have to complete multiple tasks at the same time all day. They may be prompted to take a phone call or attend some incoming phone calls while they are doing their work.
They always have to be ready to face any situation in case they encounter any kinds of patients.
Major Benefits of Medical Office Assistant Career
There are different benefits of being a medical office assistant, some of these include:
- Personal fulfillment
Working as a medical office assistant provides you with self-fulfillment and enjoyment in a variety of ways.
You are in contact with many different people all day long and you get to help people who need your assistance in the medical field.
In addition, you will be helping individuals cope with their illness and feel better by just being there to assist them.
2. Career stability
The medical assistant profession is a very stable and secure career path. Becoming a medical assistant does not require any degree or specialized training and anyone can do it.
Most firms in the medical field are looking for loyal, dependable, and dedicated people to fill their open positions.
3. Advancement opportunities
There are many different opportunities you can take as a medical office assistant in your career.
If you are ambitious and show initiative, there is always room for more experiences and knowledge that allows you to advance in your education and career.
Advancement is different for different people and it is up to you to make the most out of your opportunities.
4. Decent income
The salary as a medical office assistant can vary depending on the employer and years of experience.
On average, you can expect to make about $34,000 per year and sometimes more if you are in a high populated city and have many years of experience.
Medical office assistants are called upon to complete many tasks throughout their career and the pay is decent considering how much effort goes into this job on daily basis.
More on Benefits of Medical Office Assistant Career
5. Employee benefits
Medical office assistants have all the benefits and perks of any other full-time employee.
They receive many benefits, including paid holidays, a retirement savings plan, and group health insurance.
These benefits are very appealing to both the employer and employee.
Not only does it save them money in paying for these things, it also provides a return on investment for the employer with better work hours.
6. Flexible work schedule
Medical office assistants are able to work part-time or full-time depending on the need of both the employer and the employee.
This is a very appealing benefit offered by most employers to employees.
It allows them to have a flexible schedule and enough time for family, friends, and leisure activities.
Other than working part-time or full-time, you can also opt to work at different offices in different locations.
7. Job security
Medical assistants are in demand in many different industries; therefore, there will always be jobs for people in the career.
As long as medical assistants continue to show an extreme amount of work ethic and dedication in the profession, there are many opportunities for career advancement.
If you have been considering a career in the medical field, becoming a medical office assistant may be an ideal choice for you.
This career has many benefits for the individual and the employer.
Becoming a medical office assistant does not require any degree or specialized training. If you are interested in pursuing the medical assistant career, there are many programs that offer certification and training to fulfill your career requirements.